Is Azithromycin Safe During Pregnancy?

According to the classification compiled by a reputable FDA organization that monitors drug quality in the United States, Azithromycin is at risk B. Moreover, it is the only macrolide antibiotic in this category. What does it mean?

The FDA classification of drugs involves dividing drugs into 5 groups:

  • A – medicines that are safe for the expectant mother and baby
  • B – means the word “best”, which translates as “best”, that is, the risk for women and children is not proven
  • C – from the word “caution”, which means “carefully”, that is, the risk is not excluded
  • D – from “dangerous” – drugs dangerous during pregnancy
  • X – forbidden to pregnant women.

Azithromycin is a drug which is used while pregnancy animals did not give negative consequences for the fetus. Despite the proven safety for young animals, it is impossible to guarantee the complete safety of the drug for a pregnant woman.

The only Azithromycin safety study in pregnant women was conducted as part of the Motherisk Program.

Azithromycin is able to penetrate the placental barrier to the baby but in small quantities. This concentration is not enough to treat intrauterine infections in a child, but it can be used for a pregnant woman with minimal risk for her baby.

How does azithromycin work?

Azithromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. The trade name of the drug is consonant with the name of the active substance – azithromycin.

The active component acts on microorganisms at the cellular level, blocking the enzyme system and stopping the process of their reproduction. In an increased dose, the drug has a detrimental effect on the pathogenic flora.

Azithromycin during pregnancy can be prescribed for the treatment of the following diseases:

  • respiratory tract diseases, including pneumonia and bronchitis
  • diseases of the nasopharynx, including tonsillitis, pharyngitis
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
  • dermatological diseases such as dermatosis, erythema, and erysipelas
  • urogenital infections
  • pathological processes in the kidneys, for example, pyelonephritis.


When planning pregnancy, the drug Azithromycin can only be taken in the presence of a serious infection in the body.

The expectant mother should exclude all negative factors from her life, which may pose a threat to gestation.

You can not abuse alcohol, you should quit smoking, establish your diet, sleep and rest.

Any negative factor can lead to miscarriage in early pregnancy and cause miscarriage.

The use of antibiotics when planning pregnancy and in the initial weeks when a woman does not yet know about the conception of a child should be due to a serious problem.

Do not clutch at Azithromycin with a banal cold. The intake of the drug must be agreed with the attending physician and carried out according to the instructions.

A special classification system for the safety of medicines for mother and fetus has been developed.

The FDA has divided all drugs into 5 groups. Azithromycin is a medicine that did not show a strong negative effect on the fetus during pregnancy during research.

However, doctors can not guarantee the complete safety of the mother and child when taking any medicine.

This is what is important to consider when taking Azithromycin during pregnancy.

A large-scale safety study of the drug Azithromycin with the participation of volunteers – expectant mothers was carried out as part of the Motherisk Program.

The results showed that pregnant women who took Azithromycin and pregnant women who did not receive an antibiotic had an equal chance of having a healthy baby.


Azithromycin is active against gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms.

It stops the growth of streptococci, anaerobes, chlamydia, mycoplasma, mycobacteria, ureaplasma, toxoplasma, spirochetes.

Doctors prescribe the drug only on the basis of the results of smears and tests.

The list of diseases in which Azithromycin is prescribed:

  • bronchitis
  • pneumonia
  • infections of the skin and soft tissues
  • sinusitis
  • pharyngitis
  • tonsillitis
  • urethritis
  • cervicitis
  • gastrointestinal diseases

If microorganisms are sensitive to Azithromycin, then the drug will very quickly help to recover.

The course of treatment and dosage of medication during pregnancy is determined and prescribed by the attending physician.

It takes into account the condition of the sick woman, especially the course of gestation. Azithromycin is taken once a day during pregnancy, not often.


During pregnancy in the first trimester, Azithromycin is prescribed with great care.

The drug is undesirable to take at an early period of gestation since the action of an antibiotic can adversely affect the development of the embryo.

It is in the first trimester that the structures of internal organs are laid.

Therefore, taking Azithromycin in this period is undesirable – this can adversely affect the health of the future baby and even cause pathology.

It is better to find a safer analog.

An antibiotic helps to successfully cure many infectious processes in the female body, however, the doctor needs to monitor the health of the mother.

You can not prescribe high doses of the drug during pregnancy. In addition, you can not use too long a course of treatment with Azithromycin.

The duration of azithromycin therapy during pregnancy should not exceed 3 days.


Azithromycin during pregnancy in the 2nd trimester can be taken more confidently.

All the internal organs of the unborn baby are already formed, so taking the medicine does not pose a huge danger to the fetus, as in the first weeks of pregnancy.

Medicinal components of azithromycin only in small quantities penetrate the placental barrier.

The baby in the womb is reliably protected from all the negative factors that come from outside.

This allowed doctors to conclude that taking Azithromycin in the middle of the 2nd trimester of pregnancy is quite appropriate and is not able to harm the fetus.

If there is an infection in the body whose microorganisms are sensitive to Azithromycin, 1 tablet of the drug per day is prescribed – 500 mg. Exceeding the dosage is not allowed.

The course of treatment with Azithromycin 500 mg is no more than 3-4 days.

The tablet should be taken on an empty stomach, 2 hours before meals. Swallow the medicine whole without chewing, and drink it with a glass of water.

If drowsiness, nausea, pain in the head or chest occurs after taking the drug, treatment with Azithromycin should be immediately canceled. The female body during gestation is not a means for experimentation. 

Pregnancy is not the best time to experience the effects of antibiotics.


Before giving birth, the body of the expectant mother undergoes tremendous changes and rearrangements. 

During this period, it is very important to prevent any infection from entering the mother’s body.

Otherwise, it is possible to provoke premature birth, complications in the process of delivery. Contraindicated drugs are not taken before childbirth.

Take Azithromycin during pregnancy only in very emergency cases – with purulent tonsillitis, inflammation of the lymph nodes, and the development of genitourinary infection.

In other cases, the expectant mother should abandon such a serious radical treatment and find an alternative to the antibiotic Azithromycin.

During pregnancy in the 3rd trimester, Azithromycin is taken with great care, not more than 500 mg per day.

Your doctor may recommend a gradual decrease in the dose of azithromycin during pregnancy.

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Taking or not taking Azithromycin during pregnancy depends on many factors.

When prescribing medicine, the doctor must take into account all the risks for the mother and child, as well as the benefits that the drug can bring. If a woman suffers from a serious infection, then the child cannot be infected during childbirth.

When it passes through the birth canal, they must be freed from the infectious process. In such a situation, it is advisable to prescribe the drug Azithromycin to the expectant mother.

However, no doctor can guarantee the complete safety of the mother and child when taking medicines.

A future mother should look for a worthy and effective alternative to antibiotics during the gestation period.

You can find a good effective recipe for alternative medicine, use herbal infusions and decoctions in treatment, safe physiotherapy.

Take Azithromycin during pregnancy should be according to a scheme strictly prescribed by a doctor.

In no case should you exceed the dosage of the drug during pregnancy? Only then will a healthy baby be born who will not suffer from pathologies due to the mother taking an antibacterial drug.

During pregnancy, you should cherish your own health and not risk taking the experiments. Thanks!

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