How does azithromycin work?

Azithromycin works by killing the bacteria that cause the respiratory tract infections whooping cough, severe pneumonia and other infections.

Azithromycin prevents the bacterial cell from carrying out essential functions that are necessary for life (e.g. making protein building blocks for the bacterial cell), which stops the bacteria from multiplying.

Find out more about which infections azithromycin is used for, who can take it, and the side effects and interactions of azithromycin.

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  • Sweetman S, ed. Martindale: The complete drug reference [online]. London: Pharmaceutical Press (accessed 18 October 2011).
  • Antibiotic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Azithromycin. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2012 (accessed 27 March 2012).