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Biaxin XL Filmtab (Generic Clarithromycin)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

A number of bacterial illnesses, including pneumonia (a lung infection), bronchitis (an infection of the tubes leading to the lungs), and infections of the ears, sinuses, skin, and throat are all treated with clarithromycin. Additionally, it is employed in the treatment and prevention of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection, a lung infection that frequently affects patients living with HIV. It is used along with other drugs to get rid of the ulcer-causing bacterium H. pylori. The drug clarithromycin belongs to the group of drugs known as macrolide antibiotics. It acts by preventing bacterial development.

Clarithromycin is an antibiotic, but it won’t treat viral infections like the flu, colds, or other things. Antibiotic use that is not necessary raises the likelihood of developing a later infection that is resistant to antibiotic treatment.

How should this medicine be used?

There are three oral dosage forms of clarithromycin: tablets, extended-release (long-acting) tablets, and suspensions (liquids). Typically, the normal tablet and liquid are given every 8 to 12 hours (twice daily) with or without food for 7 to 14 days. The extended-release tablet is typically taken once daily for 7 to 14 days with food every 24 hours. Depending on your situation, your doctor can advise you to take clarithromycin for a longer period of time. Every day, take clarithromycin about the same time(s). Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the medication instructions precisely. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Before each use, thoroughly shake the suspension to combine the medication.

Do not split, chew, or crush the long-acting tablets; instead, swallow them whole.

The first several days of clarithromycin therapy should bring about some improvement in your condition. Call your doctor if your symptoms don’t go away or get worse.

Even if you feel better, continue taking clarithromycin until the prescription is finished. Your illness could not be entirely healed if you stop taking clarithromycin too soon or skip doses, and the bacteria might develop an antibiotic resistance.

Other uses for this medicine

Other infections that can be treated with clarithromycin include pertussis, cat scratch disease, legionnaires’ disease (a type of lung infection), cryptosporidiosis (a diarrhea-causing infection), Lyme disease (an infection that can arise from being bitten by a tick), and cat scratch disease (whooping cough; a serious infection that can cause severe coughing). When patients are undergoing dentistry or other treatments, it may also be utilised to prevent heart infections in those people. Discuss the potential dangers of using this medicine for your illness with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking clarithromycin,

  • If you have any allergies, including to telithromycin (not available in the United States; Ketek), azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax), erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, Erythrocin, PCE, and others), or any of the constituents in clarithromycin preparations, notify your doctor right once. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • If you have kidney or liver disease, tell your doctor if you are taking cisapride (Propulsid; not available in the United States), colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot), lomitapide (Juxtapid), lovastatin (in Advicor), pimozi (Flolipid, Zocor, in Vytorin). If you are currently on one or more of these medications, your doctor probably won’t recommend that you take clarithromycin.
  • If you experience any jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) or other liver issues while taking clarithromycin, let your doctor know right once. Most likely, your doctor will advise against using clarithromycin.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal items, nutritional supplements, and any drugs you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: anticoagulants (also known as “blood thinners”) such warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), some benzodiazepines like alprazolam (Xanax), midazolam (Halcion), and triazolam (Halcion), bromocriptine (Parlodel), calcium channel blockers like amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet, in Lotrel), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Tiazac); colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare); some HIV drugs like atazanavir (Reyataz), didanosine (Videx), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), nevirapine (Viramune), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir; and carbamazepine (Epitol, Tegretol, Teril (Norvir, in Kaletra), drugs for irregular heartbeat, including amiodarone (Pacerone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn), procainamide, quinidine (in Nuedexta), and sotalol (Betapace, Sorine); saquinavir (Invirase) and zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir);Statins, which reduce cholesterol, include atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet), pravastatin (Pravachol), cilostazol, cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), darifenacin (Enablex), digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin), erlotinib (Tarceva), eszopiclone (Lunesta), fluconazole (Diflucan); methylprednisolone (Medrol), omeprazole (Prilosec), and oral diabetes drugs including nateglinide (Starlix), pioglitazone (Actos, in Actoplus Met, in Duetact), repaglinide (Prandin, in Prandimet), and rosiglitazone (Avandia, in Avandamet, in Avandaryl) are all examples; phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); quetiapine (Seroquel); ranitidine (Zantac); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifater, in Rifamate); rifapentine (Priftin); sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra); tacrolimus (Astagraf, Prograf); theophylline, tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis); vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), vinblastine, and tolterodine (Detrol). Clarithromycin may interact with a wide range of other drugs, so be sure to let your doctor know about all of the ones you are taking, even if they are not on this list. The dosage of your drugs may need to be adjusted, and your health may need to be closely watched for any negative effects.
  • Be sure to mention St. John’s wort to your doctor if you use any herbal supplements.
  • Inform your physician if you have or have ever had a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart condition that can result in dizziness or an irregular heartbeat), ventricular arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), low blood levels of magnesium or potassium, myasthenia gravis (MG), a nervous system disorder that causes muscle weakness, or if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart).
  • Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking clarithromycin. The foetus could be harmed by clarithromycin.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking clarithromycin if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should know that clarithromycin may make you dizzy, confused, or disoriented. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Clarithromycin may result in adverse reactions. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Taste change
  • Headache

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Get emergency medical care if you encounter any of the following symptoms, or call your doctor right away:

  • Chest pain, breathlessness, breathing issues, side body pain or weakness, or slurred speech
  • Severe diarrhoea with faeces that are red or watery (up to 2 months after your treatment)
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Edoema of the hands, feet, ankles, lower legs, cheeks, neck, tongue, lips, and eyes
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Hoarseness
  • Blistered or flaking skin
  • Fever
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Not enough energy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Stomach ache in the top right corner
  • Urine with a dark colour
  • Flu-like signs
  • Hammering, rapid, or erratic heartbeat
  • Weakness in the muscles that makes it difficult to chew, talk, or carry out daily tasks
  • Dual perception

Other negative effects of clarithromycin are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store the pills away from light, excessive heat, and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom). Don’t cool the suspension down. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature. After 14 days, discard any unused suspension.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor how your body is responding to clarithromycin, your doctor may request specific lab tests.

After being swallowed, the extended-release pill does not dissolve in the stomach. The drug is gradually released as it moves through your digestive system. The coating from the tablet may be seen in the faeces. This is typical and does not indicate that you did not take the entire drug dose.

No one else should take your medication. It’s likely that your prescription cannot be renewed. Call your doctor if you continue to experience infection symptoms after taking the clarithromycin has been finished.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Biaxin® Filmtab®
  • Biaxin® Granules
  • Biaxin® XL Filmtab
  • Biaxin® XL Pac
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