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Azithromycin is an antibiotic that treats a range of infections. It’s used for chlamydia when the first choice, Doxycycline, isn’t suitable.
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Chlamydia: Here are some other options.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat lots of different types of bacterial infections. It’s sometimes prescribed for chlamydia when someone can’t take Doxycycline, which is the ‘first choice’ antibiotic treatment for chlamydia.
Azithromycin is usually taken for three days, and our clinician will tell you to take two tablets on the first day of treatment and one tablet on the second and third days.
Chlamydia is spread through unprotected sex, including oral sex.
Symptoms of chlamydia include:
It’s possible to have chlamydia without knowing because most people with it don’t get any symptoms. Estimates vary, but it’s thought that 61% of cases in women and 68% of cases in men are asymptomatic . This is one reason why men and women under 25 are advised to get tested each year if they regularly engage in unprotected sex.
You need to get tested before you can order treatment for chlamydia. You can get a test at a sexual health clinic and send the results to us, or you can order a test from us, collect your sample at home, and post this to our lab for analysis. If your test returns from our pathology lab with a positive result, we’ll advise you about the best course of treatment for you. If you’re not able to take Doxycycline, our clinicians might prescribe Azithromycin.
If your partner has a positive test result, you can order a test + treat kit and start taking the medication before your test result comes back from the lab.
Three weeks after finishing your treatment, it’s recommended to check that treatment has been successful by taking a test. If you’ve already got a positive result, you’ve got the option to order treatment and a test kit together as a ‘test of cure’ from us.
Azithromycin belongs to a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics. Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria called C. Trachomatis. The antibiotic attacks the bacteria that causes infection and weakens it before eventually killing it. It does this by stopping the bacterial cell from making a protein which helps it to grow. Without the protein, the bacteria can’t multiply and the infection clears up.
Azithromycin is made in two different dose sizes: 500mg and 250mg. When it’s used to treat chlamydia, the 500mg dose is used.
You usually take Azithromycin for three days when taking it for chlamydia. You’ll take two 500mg tablets on day one and one 500mg tablets on days two and three.
There’s a branded version of the drug called Zithromax, from Pfizer. Azithromycin is the generic version of it.
“Azithromycin versus Doxycycline for Urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis Infection.” The New England journal of medicine vol. 373,26 (2015): 2512-21. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1502599
Factors Associated With Early Resumption of Condomless Anal Sex Among Men Who Have Sex With Men After Rectal Chlamydia Treatment. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 47(6), pp.389–394.
Prevalence of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection in the general population: a meta-analysis. BMC Infectious Diseases, 20(1).
Chlamydia infection. [Accessed 27 Sep. 2021].
It’s important to take your medicine as directed so that it works properly. You should always complete the full course of treatment.
You’ll take Azithromycin tablets for three days:
It takes around seven days for Azithromycin to kill chlamydia. Even though the tablets are only taken for three days, it’s important to remember that you could still be infectious after your treatment has finished. You shouldn’t have sex for at least seven days after finishing treatment so that you don’t risk passing the infection on to someone else .
If you make a mistake when taking Azithromycin you should let us know, so we can advise you on what to do next. You may need to restart your course of treatment. It’s important you don’t have sex until you’ve completed a full course of treatment because you could risk passing the infection on to your partner.
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