The Use of Azithromycin in Chlamydia Treatment

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the micro-organism Chlamydia Trachomatis. The only way to successfully treat the infection is to kill the bacteria that live in the body and can cause a range of symptoms from pain when peeing through to complications that can leave both men and women infertile.

The way to treat bacterial infections is with the use of antibiotics (6 Chlamydia antibiotics). There are hundreds of different kinds of antibiotics that have been developed to combat different kinds of bacterial infections such as Chlamydia. However, only certain antibiotics will be effective for each different kind of bacteria.

One of the most successful antibiotics for the treatment of Chlamydia is Azithromycin. This medication has been used to successfully treat millions of people around the world (8 The Chlamydia epidemic) with the Chlamydia infection and has a success rate of over 95 per cent in clearing up the bacteria in just a short course of tablets. But is it the right medication for you? And what might it do to you if you take it? Let us take you through the full low-down on Azithromycin and its use in the treatment of Chlamydia.

What is Azithromycin?

As mentioned above, Azithromycin is a type of antibiotic that is used to treat a range of infections ranging from those that affect the inner ear through to Chlamydia. It has been effectively used for many years in the treatment of pneumonia and bronchitis and is often the first choice by doctors for use in the treatment of patients who are allergic to penicillin.

Azithromycin tablets

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The medication (5 Chlamydia medication) works by interfering with the way in which the bacteria’s cells are formed, stopping it from growing. As the cells are weakened, the bacteria gradually break down and are harmlessly passed out of the body, resolving the infection.

Different types of antibiotics stay in the body for different amounts of time before they are broken down and passed out, usually through the urine. Azithromycin has quite a long life in the body, with a single dose lasting somewhere between 12 and 14 hours before it is broken down. Standard treatment of Chlamydia with Azithromycin involves taking two to three doses, often all at once, which means the antibiotic stays in the system and carries on working for several days. This makes it a convenient way to treat the infection as you only need to remember to take one lot of tablets and can get on with your life while they do their work on fighting the infection.

Side effects

As with all medications, there have been some reported side effects of using Azithromycin by patients with Chlamydia as well as a range of other illnesses. For the vast majority of patients these side effects are minimal, manageable and pass very quickly. Fewer than one per cent of cases of patients taking the medication have resulted in the patient stopping the antibiotic because of the side effects.

Some people get tummy ache

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Due to the nature of the use of Azithromycin for Chlamydia infection, the chances of developing serious or distressing side effects are even lower. The most common side effect experienced is diarrhoea, but that only happens in around five per cent of people who take it. Nausea and abdominal pain have also been reported by some people who’ve taken Azithromycin, but that is an even lower number than those who have had diarrhoea. Some people may be allergic to Azithromycin, but this is extremely rare. It is also unlikely that you will know that you are allergic to the medication before you take it. However, if you start to experience what you think are strange effects that give you cause for concern after taking the medication, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist to seek reassurance and get advice about what action, if any, you need to take.

Is it right for you?

As with just about every medication, there will be certain groups of people for whom it is not suitable. Thankfully, there is a range of antibiotic treatments that have been proven effective in the treatment of Chlamydia infection, so if it turns out that Azithromycin isn’t for you, there will be another course of treatment you can take that will be just as effective.

Alternatives are available if Azithromycin isn’t right for you

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As the main way in which the body breaks down the antibiotic is in the liver, people with liver disease may not be able to take Azithromycin. Any signs of jaundice, including yellowing of the whites of the eyes or the skin, should be taken as a cautionary note for the use of the medication.

Similarly, a range of heart defects that may have been present since birth can make a person unsuitable to take this particular kind of antibiotic. If you have a very rapid or very slow heart rate or have had an abnormal Electrocardiogram (ECG) in the past, it is advisable to consult your doctor to check that it’s okay for you to take Azithromycin. As the broken down elements of the antibiotic are mainly passed out through the urine, people with kidney problems may be better to take a different antibiotic. It is important to disclose any health conditions you are aware of and be honest with any healthcare professional that may prescribe or administer treatment for Chlamydia. They are trying to help you, and they can’t do that unless they know the full story. If Azithromycin isn’t right for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t be treated. It just means that something else will be chosen instead.

Conclusion

Azithromycin is the antibiotic of choice for most health professionals for the treatment of Chlamydia infection (Hub page). It is a simple course of treatment involving between one and three doses of the antibiotic and clears up the infection with a high degree of effectiveness. In order to make sure that Azithromycin is the right medication for you, it is important to consult with a health professional either in person or online and answer their questions honestly to make sure there isn’t a better antibiotic for you.

Image Credits: Wikipedia, Rosmary and Ramberg Media Images