Azithromycin is a broad-spectrum macrolide antibiotic with a long half-life and excellent tissue penetration.
It is primarily used for the treatment of respiratory, enteric and genitourinary infections and may be used in preference to other macrolides for some sexually transmitted and enteric infections.
Azithromycin has additional immunomodulatory effects and has been used in chronic respiratory inflammatory diseases for this purpose.
Potential major adverse effects include cardiovascular arrhythmias and hearing loss. Macrolide resistance is also a problem, as are interactions with commonly prescribed drugs.