- Published: December 6, 2021
Hello! You can get the antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin) through a doctor’s prescription. The antibiotic is commonly used for bacterial respiratory infections, but is currently only considered for treatment or prevention of bacterial co-infections that can occur as a result of a COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) illness. Viruses are very different from bacteria, and most antibiotics are useless against viruses themselves. And although it has been shown that Azithromycin might have some antiviral activity against some types of RNA viruses, it is far from a cure. It’s also advisable not to take antibiotics unnecessarily, as that can lead to resistant strains of bacteria.
A relatively new class of antiviral drugs have been developed that can reduce the active virus in the body, stave off infection, but do not eliminate it. The FDA has approved remdesivir (marketed as Veklury) for treatment of certain hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but the drug is delivered intravenously and not given as a preventative. Ironically, one of the more common side effects of remdisivir is respiratory failure.
(Information from The Lancet and fda.gov).