Directly go to the content
Clarithromycin

Clarithromycin

Clarithromycin is a widely used antibiotic prescribed to combat bacterial infections. It is often given to people who are allergic to penicillin. Clarithromycin is part of a class of medicines known as macrolide antibiotics that work by preventing the growth of bacteria that cause infection. It is sold under brand names including Klaricid, Biaxin and Xetininin XL.

What is clarithromycin?

Clarithromycin is a widely used antibiotic prescribed to combat bacterial infections. It is often given to people who are allergic to penicillin. Clarithromycin is part of a class of medicines known as macrolide antibiotics that work by preventing the growth of bacteria that cause infection. It is sold under brand names including Klaricid, Biaxin and Xetininin XL.

 

What is clarithromycin used to treat?

Antibiotic clarithromycin is a prescription-only medication that is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including but not limited to:

  • Pneumonia;
  • Strep throat;
  • Skin infections;
  • Lyme disease;
  • Cellulitis;
  • Ear infections;
  • Toxoplasmosis.

 

Clarithromycin is also used in conjunction with other medications to treat some types of stomach ulcer.

 

How to take clarithromycin

Antibiotic clarithromycin is available in liquid form, tablets and granules. It is sometimes given intravenously to patients in hospital. Your doctor will prescribe clarithromycin, but the usual dosage is 250 mg to 500 mg and you will probably need to take two tablets twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Slow-release tablets are sometimes available and these can be taken once daily. It is a good idea to try to take your tablets at the same time each day.

 

You should start to feel better after a few days but other conditions, such as cellulitis, can take as long as seven days before you start to notice an improvement. Make sure you finish the course of antibiotic clarithromycin, even if you feel much better. Not completing the course could result in the infection returning.

 

Does clarithromycin have any side effects?

Common side effects of antibiotic clarithromycin include:

  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Indigestion;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Insomnia;
  • Headache.

 

If you are among the 1 in 100 people that experience any of these symptoms, carry on taking antibiotic clarithromycin but speak to your doctor if the symptoms continue for more than a few days.

 

Rare side effects that are reported by 1 in 1000 people include:

  • Jaundice;
  • Rapid heartbeat;
  • Severe stomach or back pain (which could indicate inflammation of the pancreas);
  • Hallucinations;
  • Severe diarrhoea with blood;
  • Bleeding gums;
  • Fever;
  • Blotchy skin;
  • Fatigue (which could indicate bone marrow disorder).

 

In rare instances, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction to antibiotic clarithromycin. Signs include wheezing, difficulty breathing/talking, a skin rash and swelling of the mouth, throat, lips or tongue. If you experience any of these, seek emergency medical help.

 

There are many more potential side effects of antibiotic clarithromycin. For more detailed information, read the full list that can be found inside your medicine packet. After finishing the course of clarithromycin, you may be more susceptible to thrush, an irritating but minor fungal infection. Talk to your doctor or pharmacists for advice.

 

When is it unsafe to take clarithromycin?

If you are taking certain medications, it might be unsafe to take antibiotic clarithromycin. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines, which can cause an adverse reaction when combined with clarithromycin:

  • Digoxin;
  • Warfarin;
  • Ergotamine;
  • Theophylline;
  • Colchicine;
  • Statins used to lower cholesterol.

 

The pill / pregnancy / breastfeeding / alcohol

Clarithromycin does not prevent the contraceptive pill from working, but if you have had watery diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, you should use additional contraception for the next 48 hours. While antibiotic clarithromycin is safe during pregnancy, taking it when breastfeeding is done at the discretion of your doctor, who may feel that the benefits of taking it outweigh the risks. It is fine to drink alcohol with clarithromycin. For more information about antibiotic clarithromycin and any other medication, contact dokteronline.com.