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Chlamydia - Azithromycin (3 Day Course)

The new updated dose for the treatment of chlamydia by NICE with Azithromycin is 1g on day one, followed by 500mg on day two and day three. A total of FOUR tablets over 3 days.

Azithromycin belongs to a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics and is used to treat a multitude of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the bacteria from from reproducing and ultimately preventing the disease from spreading.

It has been found to be effective in treating chlamydia as it stays in the body for a relatively prolonged time making sure there is no chance that the infection returns.


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What is Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is a macrolide type antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections. Some of the areas that azithromycin is effective in treating is infections in the ears, airways, skin and the sexually transmitted infection; chlamydia trachomatis.

The new updated dose for the treatment of chlamydia by NICE with Azithromycin is 1g on day one, followed by 500mg on day two and day three. A total of FOUR tablets over 3 days.

How does it work?

Azithromycin works by inhibiting protein production in bacteria, which then stops the bacteria from multiplying. This prevents the bacteria from spreading. The immune system will then kill the bacteria.

Azithromycin is particularly effective because it remains in the system for long periods of time preventing recolonisation of the bacteria that causes chlamydia.

When do I need to take it?

If you think you may have chlamydia it is imperative that go and get tested straight away. The test for chlamydia is usually a swab test or a urine sample test. For men it is almost always a urine test, for women it is usually a swab test.

If you have engaged in unprotected oral or anal sex a doctor may suggest a swab test in the rectum, throat and/or eyelid. In the case where you have had unprotected sex with someone that has chlamydia, there is a high probability that you will have chlamydia. Therefore, a doctor may prescribe treatment before you get your test results.
Most sexual health clinics or GPs will offer testing for free. The National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) also offers free testing at pharmacies for those under the age of twenty-five.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Azithromycin cannot be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have had chlamydia. A doctor may prescribe a different antibiotic to treat chlamydia in these cases.

P.S. 2019

Recommended dose:- 2 x Azithromycin 500mg Tablets (1000mg total) as a single dose on day one with plenty of water, followed by 500mg (1 tablet) Daily on days two and three. A total of 4 tablets over 3 days.

This follows new recommendations set out by NICE.

Before taking you should ascertain whether your diagnosis is chlamydia and not another infection. You can do this by going to your GP or by visiting your local sexual health clinic which can be found HERE.

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. You can see a full list of side effects HERE

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

  • Lack of appetite (anorexia)
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Sensation of pins and needles or numbness (paraesthesia)
  • Changes in your sense of taste
  • Visual impairment
  • Deafness
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Problems digesting your food
  • Skin rashes and itching joint pain (arthralgia)
  • Fatigue
  • Change in the quantity of the white blood cells and the concentration of bicarbonate in the blood.
    • If you have any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor immediately or go to the casualty department at your nearest hospital

    • Sudden difficulty in breathing, speaking and swallowing
    • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face and neck
    • Extreme dizziness or collapse
    • Severe or itchy skin rash, especially if this shows blistering and there is soreness of the eyes, mouth or genital organs.
      • If you experience any of the following side effects contact your doctor as soon as possible

      • Diarrhoea that is serious, lasts a long time or has blood in it, with stomach pain or fever. This can be a sign of a serious bowel inflammation. This is something that can rarely happen after taking antibiotics
      • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes caused by liver problems Inflammation of the pancreas, which causes severe pain in the abdomen and back
      • Increased or reduced urine output, or traces of blood in your urine
      • Skin rash caused by sensitivity to sunlight
      • Unusual bruising or bleeding Irregular heart beat.
        • Reporting of side effects

          If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

    Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

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