Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic used in the treatment of chest, skin and ear conditions. Similar to other macrolide antibiotics, azithromycin inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit of the bacterial 70S ribosome. Marketed primarily under the name Zithromax, it is easily one of the world’s best selling antibiotics with sales peaking at $2 billion in 2005. Azithromycin is also marketed under the names Clamelle, Azithrocin, Zmax and Azin. The world’s largest Azithromycin supplier to the pharmaceutical industry is TAPI (Teva API).
Azithromycin is used to treat a vast variety of bacterial infections especially in those with weaker immune systems such as children. The most common conditions it is used for are strep throat, pneumonia, typhoid and sinusitis. It has also however shown significant efficacy in handling sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and cervicitis.
Azithromycin has also shown to be useful with the treatment of malaria when used in conjunction with artesunate or quinine.
It is commonly administered as a tablet or oral suspension, with tablet dosages coming at 250mg and 500mg.
Mechanism of Action
Azithromycin works by interfering with bacterial protein synthesis, thus preventing them from growing. It binds well to the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome, which in turn inhibits translation of mRNA.
It also possesses a long half-life which means that once daily doses as well as shorter administration durations are necessary. For a further read about Azithromycin’s mechanism of action we recommend visiting this page.
Upon taking azithromycin, a minority of individuals are susceptible to nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.