Azithromycin (Zithromax, and others) is an azalide, a subclass of macrolide antibiotics. Azithromycin is one of the world's best-selling antibiotics. It is derived from erythromycin, with a methyl-substituted nitrogen atom incorporated into the lactone ring, thus making the lactone ring 15-membered.
Azithromycin is used to treat or prevent certain bacterial infections, most often those causing middle ear infections, strep throat, pneumonia, typhoid, and sinusitis. In recent years, it has been used primarily to prevent bacterial infections in infants and those with weaker immune systems. It is also effective against certain sexually transmitted infections, such as non-gonococcal urethritis, chlamydia, and cervicitis. Recent studies have indicated it also to be effective against late-onset asthma, but these findings are controversial and not widely accepted.
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