CLARITHROMYCIN 250MG/5ML SUSPENSION

Active substance: CLARITHROMYCIN

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PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER

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Clarithromycin 250 mg/5 ml Suspension

Clarithromycin

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.
• If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.

In this leaflet:
1. What Clarithromycin is and what it is used for
2. Before you take Clarithromycin
3. How to take Clarithromycin
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Clarithromycin
6. Further Information

1

What Clarithromycin is and what it is used for

Clarithromycin is an antibiotic which belongs to the group of macrolide antibiotics. It
stops the growth of certain bacteria.
Clarithromycin is used to treat:
• Throat and sinus infections
• Middle ear infections in children
• Chest infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia
• Skin and soft-tissue infections
• Gastric ulcers caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

2

Before you take Clarithromycin

Do not take Clarithromycin
• if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to clarithromycin, other macrolide antibiotics or
to any of the other ingredients of Clarithromycin (see further information in section 6)
• if you have a history of certain abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmia,
including torsades de pointes) or changes in the heart activity as measured in the
electro-cardiogram called “QT prolongation”
• if you suffer from severe liver failure and kidney problems at the same time
• if your blood potassium level is low
• if you are taking
- ergotamine, dihydroergotamine (medicines to treat migraine)
- cisapride (gastric medicine)
- pimozide (antipsychotic)
- terfenadine or
- astemizole (antiallergics)
- lovastatin, simvastatin (medicines to lower cholesterol).

Take special care with Clarithromycin
Tell your doctor before taking this medicine
• if you have reduced liver or kidney function
• if you are allergic to lincomycin or clindamycin (antibiotics)
• if you are using any antibacterial ear drops such as gentamycin or neomycin.
• if you suffer from myasthenia gravis, a rare disease which causes muscle weakness
• if you have diabetes
• if you have, or have had, heart problems or
• if your blood potassium and magnesium level have previously been low.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other
medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
Certain other medicines may affect the effectiveness of Clarithromycin or vice-versa.
Such medicines include:
Clarithromycin may increase the effect of the following medicines:
• Astemizole, terfenadine (antiallergic), pimozide (antipsychotic), cisapride (gastric
medicine), ergotamine, dihydroergotamine (migraine medicines), lovastatin,
simvastatin (medicines to lower cholesterol) (see “Do not take Clarithromycin”)
• Alprazolam, triazolam, midazolam (hypnotics)
• Digoxin, verapamil (heart medicine)
• Theophylline (antiasthmatic)
• Warfarin (blood thinning medicine)
• Atorvastatin, rosuvastatin (cholesterol lowering agents)
• Cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus (immunosuppressants)
• Carbamazepin, phenytoin, valproate (medicines to treat epilepsy)
• Cilostazol (used to improve circulation in the legs)
• Colchicine (to treat gout)
• Insulin and other medicines for the treatment of diabetes (such as nateglinide,
repaglinide, pioglitazone or rosiglitazone)
• Methylprednisolone (a cortisone to treat inflammation)
• Omeprazole (gastric medicine)
• Sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil (medicines to treat erectile dysfunction)
• Tolterodine (to treat overactive bladder syndrome)
• Vinblastine (medicine for cancer therapy)
• Medicines with the risk to affect hearing, especially aminoglycosides, such as
gentamicin or neomycin (group of antibiotics).

Both, the effect of Clarithromycin and the effect of the following medicines may
be increased when taken together:
• Atazanavir, saquinavir (medicines to treat HIV)
• Itraconazole (medicine to treat fungal infections)

The following information is intended for medical or healthcare
professionals only:

For the preparation of the suspension fill the bottle with following amounts of water
• For 50 ml bottle add 28.5 ml of water

If your doctor has specifically recommended to take Clarithromycin and any of the
above mentioned medicines at the same time, your doctor may need to monitor you
more closely.
The following medicines may weaken the effect of Clarithromycin:
• Rifampicin, rifabutin, rifapentine (antibiotics)
• Efavirenz, nevirapine (medicines to treat HIV)
• Phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbitone (antiepileptic)
• St Johnʼs Wort.

Please note
Ritonavir (antiviral) and fluconazole (medicine to treat fungal infections) may
increase the effect of Clarithromycin.

Clarithromycin may weaken the effect of zidovudine (antiviral). In order to avoid this
you should leave a 4 hour interval between taking these medicines.

The use of Clarithromycin at the same time as digoxin, quinidine, disopyramide or
verapamil (heart medicines) or other macrolide antibiotics may cause cardiac arrhythmia.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding do not take Clarithromycin before consulting your
doctor.
Driving and using machines
Clarithromycin has generally no effect on the ability to drive or use machines but may
cause side effects, such as dizziness, confusion and disorientation. If you feel affected
you should not drive, operate machinery or take part in activities where you may put
yourself or others at risk.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Clarithromycin
This medicine contains 2.4 g sucrose per 5 ml ready-for-use suspension. This should
be taken into account in patients with diabetes mellitus. Patients with rare hereditary
problems of fructose intolerance, glucosegalactose malabsorption or sucraseisomaltase insufficiency should not take this medicine.

3

How to take Clarithromycin

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with
your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
The dispensing label will tell you much of this medicine you should take and how often
you should take. Please read it carefully. The dose your doctor prescribes depends on
the type of infection and how bad the infection is. It also depends on how well the
kidneys are working. Your doctor will explain this to you.
Adults and adolescents:
The usual dose is 5 ml twice a day.
For severe infections or gastric ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori the usual dose is
10 ml twice a day.
Children 6 months to 12 years:
The daily amount is worked out according to the weight of the child.
The following table provides a guide to usual doses:
Body weight (in kg)

Age (years)

Dosage (in ml) given twice daily

20 – 29

4–8

3.75

12 – 19
30 – 40

2–4

8 – 12

2.5
5

Duration of treatment
Your doctor will tell you how long Clarithromycin should be used, normally between 5
and 14 days. Do not stop treatment on your own decision, e.g. because you or your
child feels better. If the use is stopped too early, the infection may return.

Method of use
Usually this medicine is given twice a day, once in the morning and again in the early
evening.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
This medicine can cause a bitter aftertaste when remaining in the mouth. This can be
avoided by eating or drinking something immediately after the intake of the
suspension.

Continued on the next page >>






For 60 ml bottle add 34.2 ml of water
For 70 ml bottle add 39.9 ml of water
For 80 ml bottle add 45.6 ml of water
For 100 ml bottle add 57.0 ml of water

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How to measure the dose
A 5 ml syringe marked at 2.5, 3.75 and 5 ml is provided with this medicine. It comes
with an adaptor which fits onto the bottle. To measure the medicine:
• Shake the bottle
• Put the adaptor into the mouth of the bottle
• Put the end of the syringe into the adaptor
• Turn the bottle upside-down
• Pull the plunger to measure the dose you need
• Turn the bottle upright, remove the syringe, leave the adaptor on the bottle and
close the bottle.
Always remember to shake the bottle before measuring out each dose.

Giving the medicine using the syringe:
• Make sure the child is supported in an upright position
• Put the tip of the syringe carefully into the childʼs mouth. Point the tip of the syringe
towards the inside of the cheek
• Slowly push down the plunger of the syringe: Do not squirt it out quickly
• Allow the child time to swallow the medicine.

Alternatively, empty the measured dose from the pipette onto a spoon for your child to
take the medicine from.

How to prepare this medicine
A doctor or pharmacist will prepare this medicine for you. To open the medicine bottle,
you need to press the childproof top down and then turn it.

If you need to prepare this medicine yourself, you should fill the bottle with cold water
to just under the measurement line marked on the bottle. Shake it well as soon as you
have done that.
Then put more water in right up to the measurement line marked on the bottle and
shake it again.
You only need to prepare the suspension once, at the beginning of your course.

If you take more of this medicine than you should
If you have taken too much of this medicine, contact your doctor or hospital as soon as
possible.
Symptoms of overdosage may be gastrointestinal symptoms.
If you forget to take this medicine
If you forget to take this medicine, continue treatment following the normal dosage,
recommended by your doctor. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you stop taking this medicine
It is important that you take your medicine in accordance with the doctorʼs instructions.
Do not suddenly stop using this medicine without discussing it first with your doctor.
Otherwise symptoms may return.

4

If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Serious side effects
If any of the following happens, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor
immediately or go to the casualty department at your nearest hospital:

Uncommon serious side effects (1 to 10 users in 1,000):
• allergic reactions such as sudden difficulty in breathing, speaking and swallowing,
swelling of the lips, face and neck, extreme dizziness or collapse, itchy, raised skin rash
• yellowing of the skin and eyes, unusual tiredness or fever, dark coloured urine
(signs of inflamed liver)
• risk of blood clotting, caused by a high level of blood platelets.
Very rare serious side effects (less than 1 user in 10,000):
• diarrhoea that is serious, lasts a long time or has blood in it, with stomach pain or
fever. This can be a sign of a serious bowel inflammation. Your doctor may
discontinue treatment. Do not take medicines that reduce bowel movements
• severe pain in the abdomen and back, caused by pancreas inflammation
• high or low urine output, drowsiness, confusion, and nausea caused by kidney
inflammation
• severe or itchy skin rash, especially if this shows blistering and there is soreness of
the eyes, mouth or genital organs
• unusual bruising or bleeding caused by low blood platelets
• fast or irregular heart beat.
Serious side effect with unknown frequency:
• fever, sore throat, more frequent infections, caused by a serious shortage of white
blood cells
• rash, fever, blood alterations (which may be a sign of hypersensitivity syndrome,
called DRESS).
These are all serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.
Other possible side effects:
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects bother you:

Common (1 to 10 users in 100):
• oral thrush, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, discolouration of the teeth and tongue
• headache
• changes in the senses of smell and taste (for example metallic or bitter taste)
• abdominal pain, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, indigestion
• abnormal kidney function test results
• difficulty in sleeping
• abnormal liver function test results
• rash
• excessive sweating.

Shake the bottle well as soon as you have filled it with water. After reconstitution with
water the medicinal product results in a white to beige suspension.

Uncommon (1 to 10 users in 1,000):
• low level of white blood cells
• liver disorders, increase of liver enzymes in the blood
• joint and muscle pain
• yeast infections (candidiasis)
• infections, for example of the vagina
• loss or reduction of appetite
• anxiety, nervousness, screaming
• dizziness, tremor, spinning sensation
• impaired hearing, ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
• feeling your heart beat
• inflammation of the stomach lining, constipation, wind, dry mouth, belching
• itching, hives, red raised rush
• muscle spasms
• fever, weakness.

Very rare (less than 1 user in 10,000):
• nightmares, confusion, disorientation, seeing feeling or hearing things that are not
there, loss of contact with reality, a feeling of loss of identity, depression
• dizziness, convulsions, tingling and numbness of the skin
• difficulty hearing
• liver failure
• kidney failure
• low blood sugar level, especially after use of antidiabetics and insulin at the same time.

Frequency not known:
• certain bacterial infections of the skin and underlying tissues
• disturbed sense of smell, loss of sense of smell or taste
• deafness
• acne
• pain or weakness in muscles
• abnormal urine colour.

If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed
in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.

5

How to store Clarithromycin

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.

Do not use Clarithromycin after the expiry date which is stated on the carton after
EXP:. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Do not store above 25°C.
The suspension must be used within 14 days after preparation.

Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your
pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help
to protect the environment.

6

Further information

What Clarithromycin contains

- The active substances is clarithromycin
- The other ingredients are poloxamer 188, povidone K 30, hypromellose, macrogol
6000, titanium dioxide (E171), methacrylic acid – ethyl acrylate copolymer (1:1),
triethyl citrate, glycerol monostearate, polysorbate 80, sucrose, maltodextrin, potassium
sorbate, colloidal anhydrous silica, xanthan gum, fruit punch flavouring (natural and
artificial flavouring substances including maltodextrin, modified starch and maltol).

What Clarithromycin looks like and contents of the pack
60 ml, 120 ml and 240 ml white or beige granules in HDPE bottles with child resistant
PP-screw closures and an oral PE/PP-measuring syringe (5 ml) with filling marks at
2.5 ml, 3.75 ml and 5.0 ml.

Pack sizes:
1 bottle contains 34.1 g granules for oral suspension for 50 ml ready-for-use
suspension (required water amount: 28.5 g) or
41.0 g granules for oral suspension for 60 ml ready-for-use suspension (required water
amount: 34.2 g) or
47.8 g granules for oral suspension for 70 ml ready-for-use suspension (required water
amount: 39.9 g) or
54.6 g granules for oral suspension for 80 ml ready-for-use suspension (required water
amount: 45.6 g) or
68.3 g granules for oral suspension for 100 ml ready-for-use suspension (required
water amount: 57.0 g).
Double pack of 2 x 60 ml ready-for-use-suspension: 2 x 41.0 g granules for oral
suspension each for 2 x 60 ml ready-for-use suspension each (required water amount:
2 x 34.2 g each)
1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 bottles.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Marketing Authorisation Holder:
Sandoz Ltd, Frimley Business Park, Frimley,
Camberley, Surrey, GU16 7SR, UK.

Manufacturer:
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d., Verovškova 57, 1526 Ljubljana, Slovenia or
Sandoz S.R.L., Livezeni Street no 7A, Targu Mures, Romania or
Salutas Pharma GmbH, Otto-von-Guericke-Allee 1, 39179 Barleben, Germany.
This leaflet was last approved in 01/2012 (to be amended after
apporval).

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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