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Azithromycin (diarrhoea treatment)

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Azithromycin is an antibiotic medication used to treat a variety of different infections, including chest, throat, ear and nose infections, as well as some sexually transmitted infections and travellers’ diarrhoea. It works by killing bacteria within the body that cause these infections.
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What is Azithromycin?

Azithromycin tablets are part of a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics. They are the most effective antibiotic for treating travellers’ diarrhoea in south and southeast Asia. For other countries, you should use Ciprofloxacin.


What is the travel pack? 

Azithromycin is especially effective when bought as part of the travellers' diarrhoea pack. The other medications in the pack ease the other symptoms associated with travellers' diarrhoea such as nausea, dehydration and loss of salts.

How does Azithromycin work?

Azithromycin tablets work to kill the bacteria and other microorganisms that cause infections in the body. This medication is effective as diarrhea treatment when in countries such as India, Pakistan, Thailand and Laos.


How does the travel pack work? 

The other medicines in the travel pack work with the Azithryomycin to combat travellers' diarrhoea symptoms when in south and southeast Asia. 

Loperamide helps to reduce diarrhoea due to the active ingredient loperamide hydrochloride, Buccastem contains prochlorperazine maleate to relieve nausea and Dioralyte contains glucose and salts that help rehydrate the body and replace nutrients lost through diarrhoea.

How do you take Azithromycin?

Read the patient information leaflet fully before taking this medication and always use Azithromycin 500mg as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Take two tablets as a single dose, with half a glass of water. It can be taken either with or without food.

To avoid building a resistance to antibiotics, only take them when needed, complete your treatment as instructed and don’t share them with other people.


How do you take the medicines in the travel pack? 

When you buy the travel pack, take two Azithromycin tablets with some water as soon as you get diarrhoea.

Loperamide tablets should be taken with water and should not be chewed. Adults and children over the age of 12 should take two tablets to start treatment and then one tablet after every loose stool. No more than 6 tablets should be taken in 24 hours.

Buccastem is best taken after food, and you shouldn’t drink alcohol when taking these tablets. Take one or two tablets twice a day for a maximum of 2 days. To take Buccastem, place the tablet between your top lip and gum, as high up as it will go. Don't chew the tablet or move it with your tongue. Instead, allow it to slowly dissolve. 

Take one sachet of Dioralyte after each loose stool. To take Dioralyte, mix the powder from one sachet with 200ml of fresh, cold water. Stir well until the powder dissolves, then drink immediately. Don’t mix this medication with any other liquids besides water.

How effective are Azithromycin?

Azithromycin tablets are clinically proven to treat travellers’ diarrhea in south and southeast Asia. Your travellers’ diarrhoea symptoms should start to improve within 24 hours, especially if Azithromycin is taken alongside Loperamide and the other medications in the travel pack.

For the best chance of avoiding travellers’ diarrhoea in the first place, make sure you only drink sealed bottled water when travelling. Ensure your food is cooked thoroughly and is very hot, and avoid eating salads, other uncooked fruits and vegetables, raw meat, shellfish and unpasteurised dairy products.

What are the main side effects of Azithromycin?

Like all medicines, Azithromycin can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. The most common side effects of Azithromycin are:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Nausea


What are the main side effects of the travel pack?

The most common side effects of Loperamide are:

  1. Nausea
  2. Constipation and wind
  3. Headache

The most common side effects of Buccastem are:

  1. Drowsiness
  2. Dizziness
  3. Dry mouth

If you notice any side effects when taking Dioralyte, talk to your doctor. Stop taking it immediately if you experience an allergic reaction, signs of which include a rash, problems breathing or swallowing, and swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue.

For a full list of Azithromycin side effects, please see the patient information leaflet, which you should read in full before taking this medication. Please also see the patient information leaflets for Loperamide, Buccastem, and Dioralyte.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy Azithromycin travellers diarrhoea treatment online?

Instant eCare supplies Azithromycin on a free private prescription if you are eligible for treatment. You will be required to answer a short medical questionnaire before your order can be completed, to ensure the treatment is safe for you to take.

Can I buy travellers’ diarrhoea tablets OTC (over the counter)?

You cannot buy antibiotics for travellers’ diarrhoea over the counter. You can, however, buy these antibiotics online, by simply completing a short medical questionnaire and making a payment for the treatment if you are eligible. The treatment is then delivered to your desired delivery address.

More Information
Dosage 500mg
Dosage Instructions Take TWO tablets as a single dose. Do not take indigestion remedies 2 hours before or after dose.