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Do Online Doctors Prescribe Z-Pak Antibiotics?

Go-to antibiotics like the Z-Pak were created to help you fight off certain bacterial infections, but they aren’t a cure-all. There are certain illnesses that a Z-Pak can help you fight off—and many that it can’t. Here’s the basic info you need to know, including when online doctors prescribe Z-Pak antibiotics and how to get antibiotics via telehealth when you need them.

What’s in a Z-Pak?

The “Z” in Z-Pak stands for Zithromax, the brand name for the antibiotic azithromycin. And the “Pak” means it comes in a pack of 6 pills.

Antibiotics, like azithromycin, are great at getting rid of bacterial infections—but they won’t help you fight off a cough, cold or flu, which are infections mostly caused by viruses.

Do online doctors prescribe Z-Pak antibiotics?

Yes. A Z-Pak can be prescribed to treat bacterial ear infections (otitis), bacterial pneumonia, and certain bacterial infections of the eyes, ears, sinuses, and throat. 

Azithromycin is a go-to antibiotic because it can kill many different types of bacteria, and it works quickly. In fact, if azithromycin is the right antibiotic for the bacteria causing your infection, you’ll likely start feeling better in a day or two after starting the Z-Pak.

What if my doctor won't prescribe me a Z-Pak?

From an urgent care perspective, no doctor (whether online or in an office) will prescribe you antibiotics for an illness that is likely caused by a virus.

That’s because when antibiotics are prescribed when they aren’t needed, they can do more harm than good—both to your body’s unique mix of bacteria and to everyone around you—by breeding stronger bacteria that are harder to kill.

How is a Z-Pak taken?

A Z-Pak contains 6 pills, each with 250 mg of azithromycin. You take these 6 pills over the course of 5 days:

  • On Day 1, you take 2 of the pills (500 mg)
  • On Days 2-5, you take one pill per day (250 mg)

Remember, even if you feel better within a couple of days, continue taking the medication until it is gone. Taking the entire Z-Pak will help ensure the infection is gone for good.

What are the side effects of taking a Z-Pak?

The most common side effect of azithromycin is diarrhea (or loose stools). You may also have nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, fatigue, itchy skin, or a skin rash.

How much does a Z-Pak cost?

A Z-Pak costs less than $10 without insurance. To see current prices in your area, check out the GoodRX Azithromycin page.

How can I get a Z-Pak prescription?

QuickMD can treat most bacterial infections via video chat. If your QuickMD provider determines your illness is caused by a bacteria that is best treated with azithromycin, they can send a Z-Pak prescription to your pharmacy of choice. Contact QuickMD today for a telehealth urgent care visit.

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External Sources Referenced:

GoodRx. Azithromycin. 2023.

Heidary M, Ebrahimi Samangani A, Kargari A, et al. Mechanism of action, resistance, synergism, and clinical implications of azithromycin. J Clin Lab Anal. 2022;36(6):e24427. doi:10.1002/jcla.24427

Segundo RJ e S, Rufino JP, Sousa LGV, et al. Bacterial resistance to azithromycin: causes, effects, and the fight against COVID-19. Research, Society and Development. 2022;11(6):e27711629198-e27711629198. doi:10.33448/rsd-v11i6.29198

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