What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The infection can affect both men and women and can be transmitted easily during vaginal, anal or oral sex. Throat infection can be acquired from oral sexual contact with an infected person and cause inflammation of the rectum from anal intercourse. Symptoms may vary from mild to absent occurring silently before someone ever recognizes a problem. When left untreated, Chlamydia infection can lead to serious irreversible complications such as damage to a woman’s reproductive system leading to infertility. It can also cause problems during pregnancy. An infected mother can passed Chlamydia to her newborn during vaginal childbirth and also lead to low birth weight.
Antibiotic is the drug of choice for treating Chlamydia infection
Azithromycin is classified as macrolide antibiotic, an azalide antibacterial agent which is a semi-synthetic acid-stable erythromycin derivative. This drug works by preventing bacteria (gram-negative organisms) from producing proteins that are essential to them therefore stopping bacterial growth. It is widely used to treat certain bacterial infection including sexually transmitted diseases. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against a wide variety of bacteria. It is highly concentrated in a number of cell types after absorption and undergoes extensive distribution into tissues.
Special precautions and contraindications to be considered prior to initiating Azithromycin treatment
- Any allergy to Clarithromycin, Dirithromycin, Erythromycin or any ingredients of Azithromycin.
- Inform your doctor what are other prescription drugs and any over-the-counter medications, or supplements you are taking to prevent possible drug interactions. Example is antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium for indigestion and heartburn reduces the absorption of Azithromycin if taken at the same time making it less effective.
- Tell your doctor any past medical history specifically liver problems or impaired kidney function.
- People with cardiac problems such as slow heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm.
- The suspension form of Azithromycin contains sucrose, therefore it is not advisable for people with hereditary conditions such as diabetes mellitus and fructose intolerance.
- People with electrolyte imbalance such as potassium and magnesium.
- Infants under six months of age.
- Not indicated for children weighing under forty five kilograms
- Not recommended for pregnant women.
- Breastfeeding mothers as the medicine passes into breast milk.
- Avoid overexposure to sunlight and use sunscreen when you are outdoors. Azithromycin can make you sunburn easily.
Possible Side effects
- Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) disturbance such as diarrhea, abdominal pain or wind and indigestion.
- Loss of appetite
- Dizziness, headache or disturbance in vision and hearing
- Paresthesias (pin prick sensations)
- Taste disturbance
- Joint pains
All sex partners should be evaluated and undergo treatment. Women diagnosed with Chlamydia should notify their recent sex partners for proper evaluation. It is important to remember that sexual activity should be avoided (abstinence) during the course of the treatment otherwise re-infection is likely to occur. A person infected is encouraged for re-evaluation and retesting three months after the treatment of an initial infection. It comes in tablet or capsules and suspension liquid to take by mouth. It is available as a generic medicine and with brand name. The initial dose is taken once a day for at least five days. If you happen to miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. On the other hand, skip the missed dose if it is almost time to take the next dose. Never take extra medicine to make up for the next dose. A simple tip to help you remember taking antibiotics is to take it same time everyday.