Zmax (azithromycin extended release) for oral suspension contains the active ingredient azithromycin (as azithromycin dihydrate), an azalide, a subclass of macrolide antibiotics. Azithromycin has the chemical name (2R,3S,4R,5R,8R,10R,11R,12S,13S,14R)13-[(2,6-Dideoxy-3-C-methyl-3-O-methyl-?-L-ribo-hexopyra nosyl) oxy]-2-ethyl-3,4,10-trihydroxy-3,5,6,8,10,12,14-heptamethyl-11-[[3,4,6-trideoxy-3- (dimethylamino)-?-D-xylo-hexopyranosyl]oxy]-1-oxa-6-azacyclopentadecan-15-one. Azithromycin is derived from erythromycin; however, it differs chemically from erythromycin in that a methyl-substituted nitrogen atom is incorporated into the lactone ring. Its molecular formula is C38H72N2O12, and its molecular weight is 749.0. Azithromycin has the following structural formula: