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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Zithromax™?

Alex Tree
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Hives, facial swelling, and trouble breathing are some signs of an allergic reaction to Zithromax™. In the case of hives, the reaction is usually quite mild and goes away within a few hours. Facial swelling can be so mild that it is hard to detect or severe enough to call for emergency medical services. Difficulty breathing is another severe reaction to Zithromax™ that usually needs a doctor’s attention. Some negative side effects may also be mistaken for an allergic reaction to the medication, stomach pain and diarrhea.

A very common allergic reaction is hives, which are red welts that can appear all over the body. These welts turn white when pressure is applied to them, and they are usually itchy. A severe case of hives might need a doctor’s attention, but most people experience mild cases. Hives are usually considered severe if they cover a large area of the body or last for more than two weeks. Taking an over the counter antihistamine is the typical approach to helping treat the hives.

Sometimes facial swelling is slight enough that it is difficult to detect. Other times a person’s face, lips, and throat might be so severely swollen that he or she cannot breathe. Any kind of swelling is rare as an allergic reaction to Zithromax™, but it is best to check with a doctor if it occurs. Other areas of the body, such as the legs and hands, might also swell.

Trouble breathing is often caused by swelling of the throat or tongue. Some signs of this allergic reaction to Zithromax™ is swelling in other areas of the body, hoarseness when speaking, and raspy noises when inhaling. This is a dangerous reaction and should be treated as soon as possible. If emergency medical services are called, the person can usually lie flat on his or her back to open the airways a bit more while waiting for help to arrive.

Having an allergic reaction to Zithromax™ is rare, but side effects are relatively common. Most negative reactions to medications are side effects, which usually go away a few months after regular consumption. On the other hand, Zithromax™ is most often prescribed for less than a week, so the body may never have a chance to adjust. Stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting are some side effects that have been reported. A doctor might switch the patient to a new medication if the side effects are particularly severe.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.

Discussion Comments

By SteamLouis — On Jan 29, 2013
Many people think that nausea and vomiting are signs of an allergic reaction to Zithromax but they're not. These are side effects.
By discographer — On Jan 28, 2013
@turkay1-- This question will be best answered by your doctor or by a pharmacist. You can call any pharmacy and ask them about this.

My opinion is that you might also be allergic to Zithromax because Zithromax and erythromycin are in the same category of drugs. They're both macrolides, so you are probably allergic to both.

If you had only experienced mild allergic reactions to the erythromycin, you could have given Zithromax a shot. But since you had trouble breathing, which is a severe reaction, you shouldn't take the risk. Don't take the medication and speak to your doctor when he comes back so that he can prescribe you something different.

By candyquilt — On Jan 27, 2013
I've taken erythromycin before and experienced allergic reactions. My doctor had prescribed it for an upper respiratory infection. On the third day of taking the drug, I developed hives and then trouble breathing and quit the medication.

I've moved since then and have a different family doctor now. He prescribed Zithromax for me the other day. I forgot to tell him my incident about Erythromycin and I know he'll be out of town until Tuesday.

If I'm allergic to erythromycin, does this mean that I'm also allergic to Zithromax? Will I experience the same reactions if I take it?

Alex Tree

Alex Tree

Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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