Sinus pressure? Check. Headache? Check. Enlarged lymph nodes? Check. Z-Pak? Check.

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If you have actually a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe girlfriend a Z-Pak. A Z-Pak is one antibiotic generally prescribed for bacterial infections, favor sinus infections, pink eye, or tonsillitis—not viral infections. 

What is a Z-Pak?

A Z-Pak is the brand name for a five-day course of the antibiotic azithromycin that treats bacterial infections by avoiding the growth of bacteria in her body. “It’s supplied for a range of infections including pneumonia, sinus infections, and also ear infections, because that example,” describes Amesh Adalja, MD, a board-certified infectious disease physician. 

This prescription drug is made by BOC Sciences, sun Pharmaceuticals, Sandoz, Alembic, and Pfizer, among other huge pharmaceutical companies. Common brands of azithromycin incorporate the Zithromax Z-Pak and also the Zithromax TRI-PAK. Azithromycin is also easily accessible as one eye drop, called AzaSite. 

Generic azithromycin deserve to cost around $37 without insurance, if brand-name Zithromax can cost upwards that $200. However, a coupon have the right to reduce that cost to much less than $10 because that a share Z-Pak.

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What is a Z-Pak supplied for?

A Z-Pak can treat a selection of bacterial infections in adults and also children. Some of the most usual infections include: 

Sinus infectionsCervicitisPharyngitisInfected tonsilsUrethritis in menCystic fibrosisPrevention of epidemic in HIV and also AIDS patients

Of these, strep throat is one of the an ext common diseases treated by a Z-Pak. Due to the fact that bacteria reason strep throat, a Z-Pak deserve to prevent bacteria indigenous growing and also can to decrease the spread out of the epidemic to various other people. That can likewise prevent strep neck from evolving right into a an ext severe disease like rheumatic fever, a condition that can damages your heart valves.

A Z-Pak can not treat viral infections, prefer the flu or the typical cold, due to the fact that viral infections can not be cured by antibiotics. 

Z-pak dosage

There room two main forms of azithromycin: liquid (in suspension form) and also tablets. The dosage toughness for fluid Zithromax space 100 mg/5 mL and 200 mg/5 mL. The most common dosage staminas for the tablets are 250 mg and 500 mg. Over there are six tablets in a 250 mg Z-Pak. Azithromycin is also easily accessible in higher doses together a powder kind and used for the treatment of sexuallytransfer diseases. 

Although the Z-Pak is the most popular type of azithromycin, periodically doctors prescribe a Zithromax Tri-Pak, which consists of three tablets of azithromycin 500 mg, and is bring away once everyday for 3 days. The Tri-Pak might be prescribed for mild to moderate acute bacter exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, or for acute bacterial sinusitis. 

If you have strep throat and are allergic to medicines like penicillin or amoxicillin, your doctor might prescribe you a Z-Pak of 6 250 mg tablets. You take two tablet computers on the very first day, followed by one tablet computer daily on every of the remaining 4 days.

It’s essential to take it this medication as directed by her doctor, usually as soon as a day. The dosage will count on her diagnosis. Because that the best results, take this antibiotic at around the same time every day and also continue to take it till you end up the full prescribed amount. Avoiding the medicine too early may reason bacteria to grow, and your epidemic to return.

If you miss out on a Z-Pak dose, take it it as soon as girlfriend can. If it’s virtually time for your following dose, skip the let go dose—it’s not recommended the you take two doses at once.

Z-pak restrictions

While Z-Paks can help adults and children recover from bacterial infections, there are some precautions come consider prior to taking the prescription drug. Tell your physician if you’re:

allergic come azithromycin or other antibiotics (this medication may cause allergic reaction in some people)living with liver problems, kidney disease, or myasthenia gravistaking drugs that may cause QT prolongation, you have actually heart problems, or you have a family background of sudden cardiac arrestplanning to obtain a vaccine soon or have recently had an immunizationtaking antacids, together these drugs can interfere through azithromycin pregnantbreastfeeding (the drug may pass right into your breast milk)

Specifically, speak to your health care provider around any interactions with current drugs you’re taking. The complying with medicines have negative interactions v Z-Paks:


Note: There room no drug interactions in between azithromycin and Nyquil, so you can safely take it these 2 drugs with each other to ease symptoms of a cough, ill throat, headache, fever, runny nose, and sneezing. However, before taking NyQuil or any type of other cough/cold medication, check with your medical professional or pharmacist if the medicine is for sure to take with your medical problems or other drugs you take. Countless cough and cold drugs are not safe for civilization with high blood pressure or glaucoma. 

What room the side effects of Z-Paks?

The most common Z-Pak side impacts are:

DiarrheaNauseaAbdominal painDizzinessFatigue or tirednessVomiting

Serious side impacts of Z-Paks might include: 

Hearing lossBlurred visionDifficulty speaking or swallowingMuscle weaknessPersistent nausea or vomitingSevere stomach pain

Seek medical aid right away if you experience fainting, serious dizziness, a quick or rarely often rare heartbeat, or an allergy reaction. Friend should additionally seek medical treatment if any kind of of this side effects persist or worsen.

Azithromycin has also caused abnormal alters in the electrical activity of the heart, which have the right to lead to a perhaps fatal irregular heart rhythm, according to the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA). Patient at hazard for arising this condition include those who have actually low blood level of potassium or magnesium, have a slower-than-average love rate, or usage drugs the treat abnormal love rhythms (arrhythmia).

Talk come your health care provider before taking a Z-Pak to discuss all feasible side effects and drug interactions. He or she can provide medical advice on just how to avoid or treat adverse effects. Because that example, taking this medication with food could prevent an upset stomach.

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Are there options to the Z-Pak?

“The medications clarithromycin or Augmentin are occasionally used as choices to the Z-Pak,” follow to Chirag Shah, MD, board-certified emergency medication physician and co-founder of press Health. “However, these choices will not constantly work to treat the epidemic for i m sorry the Z-Pak was prescribed in the an initial place, and consultation through one’s medical provider is recommended before changing medications.”

Azithromycin vs. Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is a common different to azithromycin. Amoxicillin have the right to be prescribed alone, or together Augmentin, which consists of amoxicillin and also clavulanate. Clavulanate is included to amoxicillin to avoid resistance. Here’s a side-by-side compare of just how azithromycin and also amoxicillin stack up against each other.

Brand (generic)Zithromax (azithromycin)Amoxil (amoxicillin)

Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate)

Dosage formsTablet


Powder packet



Chewable tablet


Common side effectsVomiting, diarrhea, abdominal muscle painDiarrhea, nausea, skin rash, or hives
Commonly supplied forStrep throat, pneumonia, center ear infection, bacterial conjunctivitis, gonorrhea, urethritis, and also pelvic inflammatory diseaseEar infection, sinusitis, lower respiratory tract infection, urinary street infection, bite wounds, strep throat

More Z-Pak alternatives

In enhancement to amoxicillin, there are other alternatives to Z-Paks, such as: