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Azithromycin 500mg Tablets (Traveller's Diarrhoea Pack)

*The brand supplied may vary. Please contact us if you require a specific brand.

Azithromycin 500mg Tablets

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Order before 3pm for delivery from Fri. 18 Jun and Mon. 21 Jun.

Azithromycin for Travellers' Diarrhoea

Buy Azithromycin 500mg tablets today, subject to our online consultation, to treat travellers' diarrhoea and sickness when on the move. This is a common condition for those travelling to a range of different countries, especially parts of Africa, South-East Asia, Pakistan and India. Order your tablets online the hassle-free way from The Independent Pharmacy, for professional and fast medical advice anywhere in the UK. 

Azithromycin TD Information

  • Age: 18 years +

    Maximum per order: 1

  • Pregnancy: Not suitable

    Breastfeeding: Not suitable

How does Azithromycin treat travellers' diarrhoea?

Azithromycin is a first-line antibiotic treatment for traveller’s diarrhoea (TD) caused by common bacterial infections. It is an antibiotic that kills diarrhoea-causing bacteria and reduces the symptoms and duration of this illness, especially when taken with loperamide - a treatment to help reabsorb water from the large intestine. The dose of Azithromycin is one tablet daily for three days. Begin taking Azithromycin as soon as you develop diarrhoea, not before. It cannot be used as a preventative measure. You can also take the anti-sickness tablet, such as Avomine, to minimize fluid loss and discomfort.


What countries is Azithromycin recommended for use in TD?

Azithromycin is the preferred antibiotic for treating travellers' diarrhoea in South Asia (India, Pakistan) or South East Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam etc.). In other parts of the world, the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin is preferred.


What is travellers' diarrhoea?

Travellers' diarrhoea is a common condition affecting 20-50% of international travellers. It usually occurs during the first two weeks of travel to a foreign country, especially in the developing world where it can affect up to 60% of travellers. Symptoms include passing three or more unformed stools within 24 hours, often accompanied by nausea, stomach pain, bloating, vomiting and/or fever.

The illness can be contracted when the body is exposed to unfamiliar bacteria. Bacterial infections normally account for around 85% of cases. For the local population, these bacteria are often harmless but for a foreign traveller they may result in infection. Viruses and parasites may also account for a minority of traveller’s diarrhoea.

It is important to take the suggested dosage of Azithromycin before symptoms become any worse.  The organisms that cause traveller's diarrhoea include bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, parasites such as Giardia and viruses like norovirus.


How can I avoid travellers' diarrhoea?

The organisms that cause TD can be contracted through contaminated food and beverages as well as contact with dirty hands and plates. Avoiding contaminated foods is the most effective way to prevent Traveller's Diarrhoea.

Basic precautions include:

  • Drink only safe water and beverages that have been boiled, bottled or distilled. Avoid tap water and hot drinks which have not been boiled.
  • Avoid ice cubes as they may be made with contaminated tap water.
  • Avoid ice-cream and other frozen desserts as many developing countries experience frequent power cuts which means these products can defrost and refreeze at unsafe temperatures.
  • Avoid raw fruit and vegetables that you have not peeled.
  • Avoid salads as they may have been washed with contaminated water.
  • Wash your hands before eating.

Standby treatment is recommended for the following travellers:

  • Travellers who often experience diarrhoea while travelling abroad
  • Travellers with bowel conditions such as IBS.
  • Travellers to destinations far from medical help.
  • Travellers who have conditions which may be aggravated by severe dehydration/diarrhoea.

OTC (over the counter medication) alternative for Travellers' Diarrhoea

In some more simple cases travellers' diarrhoea can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. These medicines include Loperamide (Imodium) and re-hydration sachets (Dioralyte). Using these products together will help ease the symptoms, this will help as your body is trying to fight off the infection. You must also ensure you remain hydrated so take on as much fluids as possible during this time, as dehydration is the most dangerous consequence of Travellers' diarrhoea. 

*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.


How to take Azithromycin tablets for TD (antibiotics)

  • Take one tablet a day for 3 days.
  • Continue the course until it is complete unless a doctor directs otherwise.
  • Start taking Azithromycin as soon symptoms of traveller’s diarrhoea occur. These include diarrhoea, sickness, nausea and stomach cramps.

How to take Loperamide capsules (anti-diarrhoeals)

  • Take two capsules at the onset of diarrhoea, followed by a further capsule after each loose bowel movement.
  • You should never take more than 8 capsules in 24 hours.

How to take Dioralyte sachets (rehydration sachets)

  • Dissolve the contents of one sachet in roughly 200ML of fresh drinking water. Where fresh drinking water is unavailable, you should use water that has been freshly boiled and cooled.
  • The solution should be made up immediately before use and consumed within one hour. If it is possible to refrigerate the mixture it can be stored for up to 24 hours.

Side effects

Side effects can include:

Mild allergic reactions (serious reactions are rare). If you develop any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Sudden difficulty in speaking, breathing and swallowing
  • Swollen lips, face, tongue and neck
  • Extreme dizziness or fainting
  • Severe or itchy skin rash, especially if it includes blistering and the eyes, mouth or genital organs become sore.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea that lasts a long time, is serious or has blood, accompanied by stomach pain or fever. This can signal a rare but serious bowel inflammation.
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin as this can signal liver problems.
  • Severe pain in the abdomen and back which can indicate inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Reduced or increased urine output, or traces of blood in the urine
  • Skin rash caused by photosensitivity
  • Unusual bruises or bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeat.

Other common side effects:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Lack of appetite
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Tingly sensation or numbness
  • Changes in your sense of taste
  • Vision impairment
  • Deafness
  • Vomiting, stomach pain or cramps, digestion problems
  • Skin rashes and itching
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in the concentration of bicarbonate in the blood and the quantity of the white blood cells.

If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in a different way, stop using Azithromycin and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.


Azithromycin 500mg tablets contain:

Active ingredient: azithromycin 500mg.

Inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium (E468), magnesium stearate (E572), silicium dioxide (E551), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), poloxamer, povidone (E1201), talc waterfree lactose.

Coating: hypromellose (E464), hydroxypropyl cellulose, macrogol, titanium dioxide (E171).


Do not take Azithromycin tablets if:

  • You have liver, kidney, or heart problems.
  • You have low levels of potassium or magnesium.
  • You develop symptoms of another infection.
  • You take any derivatives of ergot such as ergotamine (for migraines).
  • You have muscle weakness, myasthenia gravis.
  • You have neurological or psychiatric problems.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Antacids - Azithromycin should be taken at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after the antacid.
  • Ergotamine (for migraine treatment). It should not be taken with Azithromycin as the combination may cause serious side effects such as numbness or tingling in the limbs, headaches, muscle cramps, convulsions, chest or abdominal pain.
  • Cholesterol-lowering tablets (statins).
  • Warfarin or similar medicines (blood thinners). Azithromycin can further thin the blood.
  • Cisapride (for stomach problems). This medication should not be taken with Azithromycin as severe heart problems may result.
  • Terfenadine  (for hay fever). When taken with Azithromycin, severe heart problems may develop.
  • Zidovudine or Nelfinavir  (for HIV treatment). Taking nelfinavir with Azithromycin may make you susceptible to more of the side effects listed in this leaflet.
  • Rifabutin (for tuberculosis treatment).
  • Quinidine (for treatment of heart rhythm problems).
  • Cyclosporine (for preventing organ-rejection). Your doctor will regularly check your blood levels of cyclosporine and may change your dose.

Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medications. Inform your doctor about any medications you take or intend to take.

If you notice blood in your stools or vomit, or you suffer from fever, chills, or severe headache your infection may be more serious and you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Delivery & Shipping Information

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are experiencing some delays. This may mean that your order takes longer to arrive than you would normally expect. We are working hard to ensure that, where possible, all orders placed before 15:00 are still dispatched the same working day.


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 2 - 3 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1 - 2 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 - 2 working days - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 21:00) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 21:00 - £10.45

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail & DPD orders received before 15:00 the same working day. Any orders received after 15:00 or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email, in your online account and from any notifications from your courier.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods. Where possible, we will attempt to size all parcels to fit through your letterbox in tamper-proof packaging. By placing an order on our website, you confirm that it is safe and appropriate for a package containing medicines to be posted through your letterbox, if the carrier is able to do so. You should notify our customer support team if it is not safe for the package to be posted through the letterbox, for example due to animals or small children.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail


  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • Four-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with Royal Mail
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local Post Office or Royal Mail Customer Service Point.

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.




  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • One-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with DPD
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local collection point.

DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 17:30 the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 17:30 to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 17:30 to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Travellers' Diarrhoea?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Azithromycin 500mg Tablets Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is traveller’s diarrhoea?

    Traveller’s diarrhoea usually develops during or after a trip abroad where food or water has been contaminated by microbes. It usually clears up after a couple of days, but it can persist for longer than a week in some cases. Other symptoms can also include fever, vomiting and abdominal pain.  

  • What does Azithromycin do?

    Azithromycin works by destroying the bacteria responsible for causing diarrhoea. It achieves this by preventing the bacteria from producing the proteins they need to survive.

  • How effective is Azithromycin?

    Azithromycin is a highly effective treatment for traveller’s diarrhoea. However, its overall effectiveness is rated at 97%, as it has proved ineffective against giardia and amoebic dysentery. If Azithromycin doesn’t successfully clear up you diarrhoea, you should seek further advice from a doctor.

  • How can I tell if the treatment is working?

    Taking Azithromycin will reduce the overall duration of your diarrhoea. Without treatment, symptoms usually persist for 3-4 days. Using Azithromycin will cut this time down to 1-2 days. You will know whether Azithromycin is working by whether your symptoms have cleared up within this time. If the diarrhoea persists, consult with a doctor.

  • When do I need to start treatment?

    Treatment should be commenced as soon as you notice any symptoms of diarrhoea. These symptoms include; frequent loose stools, nausea, and stomach cramps. The sooner treatment is started, the quicker your recovery will be.

  • Will I need to continue the course until the Diarrhoea has completely cleared up?

    Yes. This will help prevent resistant strains of bacteria from developing.

  • Can I drink alcohol whilst taking Azithromycin?

    No. Alcohol can potentially neutralise the positive effects of Azithromycin. This will mean your diarrhoea won’t be cured effectively.

  • Where in the world is Azithromycin a good option?

    Azithromycin is the best method for treating bacterially caused diarrhoea in certain countries. Azithromycin is particularly effective in South Asia and South East Asia. This includes India, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, & Myanmar. 

    Azithromycin is recommended in these regions because there is resistance to Ciprofloxacin, an alternative TD antibiotic.

  • Do I need a prescription to obtain Azithromycin?

    Yes. Azithromycin is a prescription-only-medicine (POM). A private prescription can be issued online by visiting The Online Doctor at The Independent Pharmacy. After your consultation is reviewed by one of our doctors, your treatment can be promptly dispatched.

  • Is Azithromycin known as anything else?

    Brand names of Azithromycin include; Zithromax and Zmax.

  • How long does traveller’s diarrhoea last?

    Traveller’s Diarrhoea can last around 3 to 4 days, and sometimes even lasts a week or over. 15% of those that suffer symptoms may experience vomiting and 10% experience bloody stools. If you believe you have this condition then it is important to treat it effectively and promptly to speed up recovery. 

  • Is this condition contagious?

    Yes, it is contagious whether it is caused by a viral infection, bacteria or parasite. It is usually contracted by those who ingest the microorganisms, bacteria or parasite which then makes them ill. This type of illness is highly contagious and therefore you should practice good hygiene if infected, as to not pass on the illness to others.

    Pathogens that cause traveller’s diarrhoea can survive on surfaces for a number of days and so good hygiene will help to prevent the spread of the illness.

  • If you are suffering with traveller’s diarrhoea, should you eat anything?

    Yes, if you are taking antibiotics and are not feeling nauseated or have been vomiting then there is no reason why you shouldn't eat any food until you feel better. To treat diarrhoea generally, it’s recommended that you eat uncomplicated foods until you start to feel better. Dairy products can prolong recovery time. If symptoms persist for longer than a week then it’s important to seek medical attention.

  • What to do if you get traveller’s diarrhoea?

    If you are planning to travel to a developing country then it is a very good idea to prepare properly before you head off. This means stocking up on antibiotics incase you do fall ill with traveller’s diarrhoea.

    If you do fall ill with this condition while travelling, the best thing to do is to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids to replace the water lost from your body. It is also very important to seek medical advice to rule out any other stomach conditions if it last for longer than 3 days, or if treatment was ineffective.

  • What causes traveller’s diarrhoea?

    Surprisingly enough, the most common cause of traveller’s diarrhoea is via food, not contaminated water. Bacteria called enterotoxigenic E. coli is the usual culprit for those that come down with traveller’s diarrhoea. There is a number of different bacteria, viruses and parasites that can cause the same symptoms.

  • Is it safe to take Azithromycin during pregnancy?

    It is not recommended to take this medication if you are pregnant. It’s important to seek medical attention if you are suffering from these symptoms. 

Authored By:

A photo of  Chris Newbury

Chris Newbury

BPharm IP

Published on: 17-01-2017

Last modified on: 17-01-2021

Chris is a vastly experienced clinical pharmacist and has been registered as an Independent Prescriber since 2014.

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Scott McDougall

Scott McDougall


Reviewed on: 17-01-2021

Next review date: 17-01-2023

Scott is one of the two founders of The Independent Pharmacy. He is a registered pharmacist and the registered manager of our service with the CQC.

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