Travellers most likely to benefit from antibiotics:
- If going to a remote location with little or no access to good medical assistance.
- If you are at high risk of the diarrhoea leading to severe illness e.g. poorly controlled diabetes, renal impairment, heart failure, reduced CD4 HIV, or other reduced immunity.
- With pre-existing bowel problems where infection may trigger a relapse e.g. ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, coeliac disease, and previous bowel surgery.
- With a tendency to severe travellers' diarrhoea (on the basis of previous travel experience)
Note: azithromycin is not licensed to treat travellers' diarrhoea, but it has been prescribed by doctors as a treatment for many years.
If you have known allergy to azithromycin, erythromycin, or clarithromycin you should not take azithromycin for travellers' diarrhoea.
There are some medical conditions where you should not take azithromycin:
- a tendency to irregular heartbeat or other heart disease
- myasthenia gravis
- liver disease
- kidney disease
It is not recommended to take azithromycin when trying to conceive, or during pregnancy and breastfeeding, without first discussing with your own GP.
Treatment with azithromycin is 500mg once a day for 3 days. Start the course as soon as you get diarrhoea, not before. It is not a preventative. The symptoms of travellers' diarrhoea should improve within 24 hours of starting antibiotic.
If there are any side effects the most common are stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhoea. For details see the patient information leaflet supplied with the tablets.
Symptoms should start to improve within 24 hours of starting azithromycin. Medical advice should be sought if symptoms are not improving after 2 or 3 days, or are worsening, or if any of the following occur:
- Profuse diarrhoea and vomiting lead to dehydration.
- Blood and green or yellow slime in the motions with severe abdominal pains.
- Diarrhoea associated with rashes.
- High fever and headache with diarrhoea (particularly in malaria areas).
- Try to get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids, even if vomiting (at least 3-4 litres/day).
- Continue to eat simple foods such as rice and dried bread, appetite permitting.
- Pay attention to personal hygiene, to prevent spread.
Azithromycin is effective in reducing the symptoms of travellers' diarrhoea, particularly if taken with Loperamide.
To combat antibiotic resistance please:
- Only use antibiotics when needed
- Never share antibiotics
- Always complete course as instructed
- Take unused medicine to local pharmacy for disposal
- Accord-UK, 2020, Azithromycin 500mg: Summary of Product Characteristics, accessed 15 January 2021
- NICE, 2019, Diarrhoea - prevention and advice for travellers, accessed 15 January 2021
Buy Azithromycin online (UK only)
Azithromycin 500mg is prescription only medicine.
To buy Azithromycin online you will need to complete an online consultation before you can make an order.
Once completed patients choose treatment, register details, and pay online. A doctor will review your order and issue the prescription electronically to our pharmacy. Medicine is then delivered direct to you.
|Azithromycin 500mg||3 tablets (1 course)||£9.90|
Dr Fox charges a small prescription fee per order.
Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.
Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.
|Order value||Prescription fee|
|up to £10||£1.00|
|up to £20||£2.00|
|up to £40||£3.00|
If you have your own private or NHS paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).
Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.
UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).
Parcel forwarding services are not permitted. Use only UK home or work delivery address.
Returns and refunds - unwanted items can be returned within 14 working days for a full refund.
Fantastic and good medicine. Could be better if they send or have the "Azithromycin 500 mg" ( 4 or 3 tablets ) Thank you.
E. Rodriguez Verified
Best to be taken just with food to avoid stomach upset. Works very well though.
V. Johnson Verified
R. Yeardley Verified
No problem with this order
The order process
Answer short medical questionnaire
Choose medication, register, and pay
Doctor issues prescription online
Pharmacy team post medication direct