How to Give a Child Azithromycin

Updated November 21, 2016

Azithromycin is an antibiotic that treats infections, such as ear infections, pneumonia and strep throat. The medication works by getting into affected tissues, releasing slowly over time. Azithromycin can continue to fight an infection for days, long after a dose has been administered. Depending on your child's infection, azithromycin can be given for one to five days. Trying to give your child azithromycin can be a difficult task as the medicine is horrible to the taste, causes diarrhoea, stomach pain and nausea. Because of the side effects, your child may become irritable and uncooperative when it comes to taking the antibiotic. However, it's important to give her the medicine in order to see improvements.

Ask your pharmacist to flavour your child's antibiotics if she dislikes the flavour of her antibiotics. According to Kids Health, your pharmacist may be able to use flavours that include cherry and grape to mask the taste of azithromycin.

Give azithromycin to your child with a small meal. Azithromycin can cause an upset stomach when food isn't eaten. Food also helps the absorption of the antibiotic into your child's body.

Use a calibrated syringe if you have a baby who needs azithromycin. Reach towards your child's inner cheek to dispense the medication, which will make it more difficult for the medication to be spit up.

Ask your paediatrician about using a medicine dispenser pacifier. As indicated by Kids Health, a medicine dispenser pacifier uses a small dispenser attached to the pacifier to administer medicine. Your baby or toddler can suck on the pacifier and take in the medication at the same time.

Ask your paediatrician if it's acceptable to combine your child's antibiotic with a small portion of food such as pudding or apple sauce. Mixing medicine with sweet foods can make the medication more palatable.


Chill your child's medication in the refrigerator if her paediatrician allows this. Throw any remaining azithromycin away, after your child finishes her course of treatment.


Never mix your child's antibiotics with her drinks. Your child may not receive her full dose. Don't give your child any leftover azithromycin. Only give the correct dose of antibiotic. Don't use a spoon to administer medications. You won't be able to give the correct dosage. Don't tell your child that you're giving her candy. She might mistake her antibiotics for candy and accidentally overdose if she ingests the medicine herself. Never give your child another dose of azithromycin if she vomits or spits up her medicine. Immediately call your paediatrician for instructions on what to do.

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