Roxithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat respiratory tract, urinary and soft tissue infections. Roxithromycin is derived from erythromycin, containing the same 14-membered lactone ring. However, an N-oxime side chain is attached to the lactone ring. It is also currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of male-pattern hair loss. .


Mechanism of action


Roxithromycin prevents bacteria from growing, by interfering with their protein synthesis. Roxithromycin binds to the subunit 50S of the bacterial ribosome, and thus inhibits the translocation of peptides. Roxithromycin has similar antimicrobial spectrum as erythromycin, but is more effective against certain gram-negative bacteria, particularly Legionella pneumophila.




When taken before a meal, roxithromycin is very rapidly absorbed, and diffused into most tissues andphagocytes. Due to the high concentration in phagocytes, roxithromycin is actively transported to the site of infection. During active phagocytosis, large concentrations of roxithromycin are released.




Only a small portion of roxithromycin is metabolised. Most of roxithromycin is secreted unchanged into the bile and some in expired air. Under 10% is excreted into the urine. Roxithromycin's half-life is 12 hours.


Side effects


Most common side effects are gastrointestinal; diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.


Drug interactions


Roxithromycin has fewer interactions than erythromycin as it has a lower affinity for cytochrome P450, therefore it does not interact with hormonal contraceptivesprednisolonecarbamazepineranitidine orantacids.


Drug Dosage & efficacy per weight and age


Adults: Two tablets a day.


Mode of Administration Oral route; Swallow the tablet with a glass of water.


Frequency and Time of Administration of the Medicine 1 tablet morning and evening. The tablet should preferably be take before meals.


Other Studies


Roxithromycin has been studied and used for a number of different parasitic/bacterial infections in non HIV-infected people. Successful treatment of various infections has been reported, including: chlamydia, sinusitis, bacterial-associated respiratory disease, oral (odontogenic) infections, pneumonia, and skin infections(erysipelas).



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