Sounds like 'rox-ZITH-roe-MYE-sin'

Easy-to-read medicine information about roxithromycin – what it is, how to take roxithromycin safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Antibiotic (to treat infections)
  • Macrolide antibiotic 
  • Arrow-Roxithromycin

What is roxithromycin?

  • Roxithromycin is an antibiotic that is used to treat infections such as infections of the chest, skin or genitals.
  • It works by killing or stopping the growth of the bugs that cause the infection.
  • Roxithromycin is available as tablets.


  • The usual dose of roxithromycin is 1 tablet (300 mg) once a day OR 1 tablet (150 mg) twice a day, in the morning and evening.
  • Your doctor will advise you how long to take roxithromycin for (usually 5 to 10 days).
  • Always take your roxithromycin exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take roxithromycin

  • Take roxithromycin at the same time each day.
  • Roxithromycin is best taken on an empty stomach, about 15 minutes before food. If it makes you feel sick, then take it with food.
  • Keep taking roxithromycin until you finish all the tablets, for as long as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to.
  • Do not stop taking roxithromycin, even if you feel better after a few days, unless your doctor tells you to.
  • If you forget to take roxithromycin, take it as soon as you remember.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, roxithromycin can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • Take roxithromycin with food.
  • Diarrhoea (loose, watery stools)
  • This may go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Fainting
  • Changes in your heartbeat (fast or irregular)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pain in the abdomen
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.
  • Allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of the lips, face, and mouth or difficulty breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.


Roxithromycin interacts with a number of other medications including warfarin and colchicine, so always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting roxithromycin or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet  Arrow-Roxithromycin 
New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: roxithromycin

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 29 Nov 2016