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Ketek

Generic Name: telithromycin (tel-ITH-roe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Ketek

Do not take Ketek if you have myasthenia gravis. Severe and sometimes fatal breathing problems have occurred in patients with myasthenia gravis who have taken Ketek.


Ketek is used for:

Treating infections caused by certain bacteria.

Ketek is a ketolide antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of or killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use Ketek if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Ketek or any macrolide antibiotic (eg, erythromycin)
  • you are taking astemizole, cisapride, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), pimozide, certain medicines for irregular heartbeat (eg, quinidine, procainamide, dofetilide), propafenone, ranolazine, rifampin, or terfenadine
  • you are taking certain HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin); if you must take telithromycin, talk with your doctor about whether you should continue to take atorvastatin, lovastatin, or simvastatin while you are taking telithromycin
  • you have a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT syndrome, congenital QT prolongation), severely slow heartbeat, or untreated low blood potassium or magnesium
  • you have myasthenia gravis
  • you have ever had liver problems (eg, hepatitis) or yellowing of the eyes or skin while taking Ketek or any macrolide antibiotic (eg, erythromycin)
  • you are taking colchicine and have kidney or liver problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using Ketek:

Some medical conditions may interact with Ketek. Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you or someone in your family has a history of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT syndrome)
  • if you have a history of fast or slow heartbeat, heart failure, or other heart problems; blood problems; kidney problems; liver problems (eg, yellowing of the eyes or skin); or myasthenia gravis
  • if you have diarrhea or a stomach infection

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Ketek. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Certain antiarrhythmics (eg, quinidine, procainamide, dofetilide), astemizole, cisapride, pimozide, propafenone, or terfenadine because the risk of severe and possibly life-threatening irregular heartbeat may be increased
  • Colchicine because the risk of its side effects, including severe and possibly fatal side effects, may be increased by Ketek
  • Certain HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin) because the risk of severe muscle and kidney problems may be increased
  • Certain calcium channel blockers (eg, amlodipine, diltiazem, verapamil) because the risk of fainting or loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, or slow heartbeat may be increased
  • Rifampin because it may decrease Ketek's effectiveness
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), benzodiazepines (eg, midazolam, triazolam), digoxin, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), ranolazine, or sleep medicines (eg, eszopiclone) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Ketek
  • Many other prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for infections, inflammation, aches and pains, irregular heartbeat and other heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune system suppression, mood or mental problems, seizures), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, St. John's wort) may interact with Ketek, increasing the risk of side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Ketek may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Ketek:

Use Ketek as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Ketek comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Ketek refilled.
  • Take Ketek by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow Ketek whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Ketek works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take Ketek for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of Ketek, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Ketek.

Important safety information:

  • Ketek may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, or vision problems (eg, blurred vision, double vision, difficulty focusing). These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Ketek with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks if you experience vision problems, loss of consciousness, fainting, confusion, or hallucinations.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Ketek only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use Ketek for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Ketek may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Ketek before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including liver and kidney function and blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Ketek. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Ketek should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Ketek can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Ketek while you are pregnant. It is not known if Ketek is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Ketek, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Ketek:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or watery stools; blurred vision, double vision, difficulty focusing, or other vision problems; confusion; dark urine; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; hoarseness; loss of appetite; loss of consciousness; muscle cramps or weakness; pale stools; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; severe stomach pain, cramps, or tenderness; unusual fatigue or tiredness; vaginal discharge, irritation, or odor; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.

Proper storage of Ketek:

Store Ketek at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Ketek out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Ketek, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ketek is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Ketek or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Ketek. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Ketek. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Ketek.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Watch this video series to learn about managing severe allergies (anaphylaxis).

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