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What are macrolides and what are they used for?

Macrolides are a class of antibiotics that are commonly prescribed to treat infections caused by bacteria. Macrolides were discovered from Saccharopolyspora erythraea.  They work by stopping the production of proteins needed for bacterial growth, which can help prevent or cure an infection. Macrolides can be used to treat pneumonia, ear infection (otitis), strep throat (tonsillitis), bronchitis, sinus infections, endocarditis, skin infections including cellulitis, urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and boils as well as many other bacterial-based diseases.

Macrolides are a common substitute for patients with an allergy to penicillin because they have a more narrow antimicrobial spectrum. Macrolide drugs can be effective against Legionella, mycoplasma, Chlamydia, streptococcus, pneumococcus, staphylococci, and enterococci which is why these antibiotics may offer some relief from symptoms caused by those diseases as well. These include erythromycin, roxithromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin.

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Macrolides: Side effects and Risks of overdose

As with any antibiotic, macrolides have side effects that can range from mild reactions, such as diarrhea/nausea, dizziness/blurred, rash/itching/hives, headache vision to more severe ones like liver damage and anaphylaxis. The most common macrolide is azithromycin, which has been linked with high rates of myopathy and cholestasis (or the inability for bile to flow properly through the liver).

Macrolides may cause an overdose when used with other drugs that also affect this pathway such as azathioprine, chloroquine, colchicine, cyclosporin A, dapsone, and quinidine. The risk of overdose increases if the macrolide is administered intravenously or combined with a drug affecting the metabolism of the macrolide. In addition to these factors, certain patient populations are at higher risk for developing toxicity from macrolides including patients who have renal failure or liver impairment and those taking concomitant medications which can increase serum concentrations by inhibiting the cytochrome P450 system.

Drug interaction of Macrolides

Macrolide use is associated with interactions between drugs.  For example, macrolides may increase concentrations of phenytoin, an anticonvulsant drug used in epilepsy patients; decrease levels of cyclosporine, immunosuppressant given after organ transplantation; and reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel. Macrolides should not be combined with colchicine since the two can cause colchicine toxicity. Gastrointestinal upset, fever, rash, and paresthesia are some of the most common adverse effects seen when using macrolides. Macrolides can also interact with other medications like warfarin or ketoconazole.

Precaution you should take before taking Macrolides.

Some precautions should be taken before taking macrolides. These precaution includes talking to your doctor about any allergies that you have or medications that you may be taking as there is a small chance for an allergic reaction if these conditions exist. Don’t consume grapefruit juice while on this medication due to interactions with the drug which can lead to serious side effects such as liver damage or kidney problems among other things. Macrolide therapy may not be suitable for patients who have had liver problems or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Dosage guide and strength of macrolides.

Macrolides came in a variety of dosage forms. Some commonly used forms include tablets, oral suspension, injection, and tablets.

Erythromycin dosage strength.


  • 250mg, these tablets contain 250 mg erythromycin per tablet.
  • 500mg, these tablets contain 250 mg erythromycin per tablet.

Erythromycin dosage guide.

General dosage

  • 250mg every six hours or 500mg every 12 hours. Doses can be increased up to 4g/day depending on the severity of the infection.

For urethritis

  • 500mg every 6 hours for 7 days

For amebiasis

  • 500mg every 6 hours for 7-14 days

Azithromycin dosage form


  • 250mg, these tablets contain 250 mg erythromycin per tablet.
  • 500mg, these tablets contain 250 mg erythromycin per tablet.


  • 500mg/vial, contains 500mg azithromycin per vial

Oral Suspensions

  • 100mg/5ml, contains 100mg azithromycin per 5ml oral suspension.
  • 200mg/ml, contains 200mg azithromycin per 5ml oral suspension.

Azithromycin dosage guide


500mg dose for one day followed by 250mg from days 2-5

Acute Bacterial sinustis

500mg for 3 days

Acute bacterial exacerbation

500mg for 3 days OR 500mg for one day followed by 250mg dose per day for 2-5 days

Macrolides exporter and dealers in Pakistan.

Pharmapk is the macrolides exporters and dealers in Pakistan.  We offer our clients Macrolides at the best market price, along with a guarantee for timely delivery. Macrolides are also available for sale from pharmapk. Pharmapk export and supply Macrolides to dealers all over the world. As a macrolides exporter and dealer, we fulfill customer demands for this drug in Pakistan. Pharmapk also provides the service of wholesale macrolides at affordable prices. Pharmapk has an experienced team of employees who can answer any questions you may have about our products or services. Contact us today!

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