Azithromycin and Infants

Why isn’t azithromycin supposed to be given to infants? I thought it was safe because of its low levels of side effects.

Azithromycin and Infants

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Azithromycin (Zithromax) is a fairly new antibiotic with few side effects. It can be effective in the treatment of ear infections, throat infections, tonsillitis, bronchitis, skin infections, and some sexually transmitted diseases. Azithromycin (Zithromax) has become very popular because it is pleasant to take and very convenient (once daily dosing for 5 days). Fewer than 1% of those taking azithromycin stop taking it because of problems with side effects. Most of these side effects are quite minor, but it has been reported to rarely cause a serious form of jaundice.

This is one of several reasons that azithromycin (along with erythromycin, an older antibiotic in the same class) is not recommended for use in children under 6 months of age when another antibiotic is available (see article on Pyloric Stenosis as well). Azithromycin is processed by the liver. The immature livers of infants in the first months of life are less ready to handle this, making the risk of jaundice greater. A baby is not simply a little adult, but a developing child with unique metabolic capabilities.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Emily Thorne

    My son is 9 months old and has an ear infection. He was prescribed azithromycin. He may also have mastocytosis which is yet to be confirmed by another dermatologist. (Second opinion) I gave him the first dose of azithromycin and noticed he had a runny stool within the first hour. Is that normal?

    Added:
    Reply
  2. Olawunmi

    My baby girl is 6 weeks old was told to use Azithromycin 2.5ml for 3 days to cure oral thrush. I’ve given her he drugs as prescribed but noticed she cries alot and her weight increased. Please advise on what to do.

    Added:
    Reply
  3. Georgia

    My 12 day old is in the NICU and one of the Nurse Practitioners that rounded in his room tested positive for Whooping Cough (pertussis). The doctor put all the babies on Zithromax for 5 days; they offered no other option because they said treating them prophylactically was the better option then testing all the babies to see if they actually had contracted pertussis. I was never told Zithromax was not approved for infants yet or that it could cause pyloric stenosis. My son, like most of the infants in the NICU, are already compromised. I guess I will just have to pray that all goes well

    Added:
    Reply
  4. Geisa

    My baby girl is 3 months, and for about 1 month she has secretion and starch caused by these secretions . I whent to the doctor of my baby two days before and she heare a sound like whistling, acourding to this she give 5 points ventolin with physiological 3cc to use with airsol. Yesterday I went again after this tow days to visit my girl, this time she told me that now has bronchiolitis , which is positioned at the rear of the backpack next to the right hand, acourding to the doctor she can hear noise. For this she recommend me to give to my baby azitomycin 3ml on the first day and 1.5 mL four other days .
    Please doctor is it ok to give to a 3mounth baby azitromycin? and what should I do?

    Added:
    Reply
    • Geisa

      I am sorry docktor I didn’t meant to say starch but I wanted to say cough. My baby has cough which is coused by the secretions.

      Added:
      Reply
  5. krystine

    My 8 month old started taking Azithromycin yesterday 4 mil dose for 5 days he got bit by cat and is now taking it for infection… every time I have given it to him 2 doses so far he has instantly thrown it up Is that normal or should I call his doctor back

    Added:
    Reply
    • It would be wise to call your son’s doctor. He or she may prescribe a different antibiotic if this one isn’t being well tolerated.

      Added:
      Reply
  6. Dr. Sheikh Mizanul Hoque

    The medicine which is prescribed for your child is recommended after the age of 6 months. If your child need to have antibiotic, that must be given.

    Added:
    Reply
  7. Leslie

    My son is 8 weeks old and the doctor prescribed azithromycin because he has bronchitis and he is wheezing. I don’t want to give it to him because I have heard a lot about no antibiotics for the first year of life. My first son was prescribed antibiotics many times during his first year and he has food and skin allergies problems also a low immune system. What should I do? Please help. I need to give my baby his first dose now and I don’t know what to do

    Added:
    Reply
  8. Taryn

    My baby is 6 month with Bronchוolitis RSV. I was suscribed by the Doctor to give him Azithromycin 2.5 CC once a day for 3 days. What would you recomend?

    Added:
    Reply
    • Melanie

      Hey did you ever get a response about this ?? My daughter is finally being released tomorrow morning she is 7 months old and I believe was accidently prescribed a high dosage of azithromycin (7.5 ml) of the 200mg/5ml strength liquid….what was ur baby prescribed and did she take it

      Added:
      Reply
  9. Lucky

    My baby is 4 n half months and doctor has prescribed azithromycin for cough and cold.. I have given her 1 dose , n nw I saw this article. what should I do ? Should I continue,.please help

    Added:
    Reply
  10. Nicole

    My baby is 2 years and dr gave her for 2 weeks , for 7,5ml , after 1 week ,she started vonetin throw the night , cople of time , what I shoul to do?she had skin infection ,when I told the Dr , she said is not for antibiotic , put my baby on drop for 1day , and she wanna countinu with zitromax again?please help me

    Added:
    Reply

Got an idea, tip or a comment?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *