Clarithromycin is in a class of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. It kills bacteria in your body also termed as a bactericidal drug. It is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, tonsillitis and skin infections. For eradication of Helicobacter pylori in the treatment regimen for duodenal and stomach ulcers (peptic ulcer disease).
Special precautions: impaired liver function, kidney disease, serious gastrointestinal problems with vomiting and diarrhea, heart diseases, bronchial asthma and pregnancy. Clarithromycin is in FDA pregnancy category C which means that it is not known whether it will harm an unborn baby. It is not known whether clarithromycin passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding a baby.
Take this drug exactly as directed by your doctor. It is important to take all the complete course of antibiotics prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. Seek emergency medical attention once you experience these symptoms.
Serious side effects: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, closing of your throat, swelling of your lips, tongue, face or hives (wheals); liver damage (yellowish discoloration of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue.
Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur these are the following:
• nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain;
• dizziness, fatigue, or headache;
• a rash; or
• vaginal yeast infection.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
• antihistamines such as terfenadine (Seldane) and astemizole (Hismanal);
• seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene);
• asthma medications such as theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair, Theochron, others);
• anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin);
• heart medications for irregular heartbeats, such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and disopyramide (Norpace);
• Ergotamine (ergostat) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.);
• HMG-COA Reductase Inhibitors such as atorvastin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor) and others;
• Benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium), triazolam (Halcion), alprazolam (Xanax) and others;
• sildenafil (Viagra) or vardenafil (Levitra)
• cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap) These medicines can interact, possibly leading to a dangerous irregular heartbeat pattern.
• other antibiotics. Do not use other antibiotics unless they are prescribed by your doctor. Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with clarithromycin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
Clarithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic. Chemically, it is 6-0-methylerythromycin. The molecular formula is C38H69NO13, and the molecular weight is 747.96. Each yellow oval film-coated immediate-release BIAXIN tablet (clarithromycin tablets, USP) contains 250 mg or 500 mg of clarithromycin and the following inactive ingredients:
250 mg tablets: hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Blue No. 1, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, pregelatinized starch, propylene glycol, silicon dioxide, sorbic acid, sorbitan monooleate, stearic acid, talc, titanium dioxide, and vanillin.
Clarithromycin has the following structural formula: