Patients should take Z-Pak antibiotics exactly as directed on the prescription label, states Everyday Health. Doctors typically have patients take Z-Pak antibiotics once a day for one to five days, explains MedlinePlus. Patients should finish a Z-Pak prescription, even if they feel better.
Doctors prescribe azithromycin, the active ingredient in Z-Pak antibiotics, to treat certain infections, including bronchitis, sexually transmitted diseases, pneumonia, and infections involving the ears, lungs, sinuses, throat and skin, according to MedlinePlus. Patients sometimes take azithromycin for other infections, including travelers' diarrhea, H. pylori, pertussis and Legionnaires' disease, a type of lung infection.
Azithromycin sometimes causes side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and headache, according to MedlinePlus. Patients should notify a doctor of these side effects only if they are severe or persistent. Patients who experience vomiting within one hour of taking azithromycin should contact a doctor to determine if an additional dose is necessary.
Azithromycin can cause serious side effects that warrant immediate medical attention, notes MedlinePlus. Serious side effects include dizziness, fainting, extreme fatigue, unusual bleeding or bruising, and fast, pounding or irregular heart rate. Blistering or peeling skin, unusual muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and yellowing of the skin or eyes are other serious side effects.