Does Medicare Cover Azithromycin?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • An antibiotic prescribed to treat bacterial infections, such as pink eye, bronchitis and pneumonia, azithromycin may be covered by Medicare drug plans.

The generic form of Zithromax, azithromycin is prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections. According to, 98% of Medicare prescription drug plans cover azithromycin. Keep reading to learn more about this drug and potential out-of-pocket costs with Medicare. 

What is Azithromycin Used For?

Azithromycin is an antibiotic prescribed for the treatment of upper respiratory, ear and reproductive organ bacterial infections. This drug isn't an effective treatment for viral infections, such as cold and flu.

Available in tablet and liquid form, azithromycin is prescribed for short-term use in most circumstances. While most adults on this medication begin to feel better within a few days, the course of treatment must be completed as directed by the prescriber. 

It's important to take azithromycin exactly as prescribed. Side effects associated with azithromycin include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.

More serious side effects that require immediate medical attention include but aren't limited to dizziness, hives, fever blisters and muscle weakness. Beneficiaries should discuss all possible side effects with their prescriber prior to taking this drug. 

How Much Does Azithromycin Cost With Medicare? 

The cost of azithromycin varies depending on the current drug coverage stage and the form dispensed (liquid versus tablet). Usually listed as a Tier-1 drug, azithromycin has lower out-of-pocket costs than its brand alternative. Beneficiaries in the deductible stage of Medicare drug coverage may need to pay the full cost of the drug, depending on their plan's specific rules.

Otherwise, reports the cost share for azithromycin ranges from $0-$20. Beneficiaries who receive Extra Help or qualify for other prescription drug cost assistance, such as Medicaid, may not have to pay anything out of pocket. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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