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What is Zmax®?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Feb 25, 2024
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Zmax® is a prescription antibiotic used to treat several different types of infections. It comes in a single-use oral suspension that is mixed with water. The drug is effective against many common bacteria, including the ones responsible for sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, and some sexually transmitted diseases. Most patients who use Zmax® see improvement in their symptoms within a few days, and bacteria are usually fully eradicated from the body in less than one week. The drug is unlikely to cause major side effects when it is used correctly, though temporary stomach upset and other gastrointestinal symptoms may arise.

Macrolide antibiotics such as Zmax® work by disrupting protein synthesis in bacterial cells. They are able to target bacteria in the body and leave healthy tissues unharmed. Zmax® prevents bacteria from thriving and reproducing, thus stopping the spread of an infection and gradually killing existing pathogens. The drug is commonly used to treat skin, respiratory tract, and sinus infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and strains of Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.

The standard dose for adults is 2 grams of Zmax® powder mixed with about 2 ounces (60 milliliters) of water. A doctor or pharmacist usually pre-mixes the solution for the patient to avoid over- or under-dilution. Pediatric patients typically need smaller doses that are calculated based on age, weight, and specific conditions. Patients are advised to avoid eating, drinking, or taking antacids or other medications for two hours before and after using Zmax® to reduce the chances of side effects and negative drug interactions.

The most common side effects when taking the drug include mild stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. Some people feel dizzy or develop headaches shortly after taking their doses. Lasting nausea, fever, chest pains, or ringing sensations in the ears are signs of a more serious reaction that needs to be brought to the attention of a doctor. Rarely, an allergic reaction can occur that causes the skin to break out in a rash and the throat to swell, restricting breathing.

Female patients who take Zmax® are at an increased risk of developing vaginal yeast infections following treatment. The antibiotic destroys many of the bacteria that are naturally found in the intestines and genital tract, which may create a more habitable environment for yeast-causing fungi. If symptoms of a yeast infection do appear, a doctor can prescribe additional medications to take care of the problem within a few days.

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