Common Brands Zithromax
Drug Class
Macrolide antibiotic
Controlled Substance Classification
Not a controlled medication
Generic Status
Lower-cost generic available
Prescription only
Robert Chad Hakim, PharmD, BCCCP
Robert Chad Hakim, PharmD, BCCCP
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Medically reviewed by Robert Chad Hakim, PharmD, BCCCP last update on 20/12/2023


Azithromycin is a potent antibiotic that is frequently prescribed for various infections. Its chemical structure and mechanism of action distinguish it from other antibiotics, making it a valuable tool in the fight against bacterial infections. Let’s delve deeper into the background of this medication.

Azithromycin’s chemical structure is characterized by a lactone ring with a nitrogen atom, which sets it apart from other antibiotics in the macrolide class. This unique structure plays a crucial role in its mechanism of action. Azithromycin works by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis, effectively preventing the growth and replication of the bacteria responsible for causing infections.

Azithromycin, was first developed in the 1980s by the pharmaceutical company Pliva and was later patented by Pfizer under the brand name Zithromax. It received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991, marking the beginning of its widespread use in clinical practice.



Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation