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What is azithromycin used to treat?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Azithromycin is an antibiotic. Azithromycin eyedrops (AzaSite) are FDA-approved to treat certain eye infections. But studies show they may also be helpful for people with dry eye syndrome caused by poor meibomian gland function. Oral azithromycin (Zithromax) has also been studied as a treatment for this condition. These drugs are not FDA-approved for dry eye treatment.

Azithromycin is usually prescribed only for people with moderate or severe dry eye that has not gotten better with other treatments, such as warm compresses and eyelid massage. Besides being an effective antibiotic, azithromycin also reduces inflammation. Experts think both effects are important for most people with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.