Generic Name: Clarithromycin Tablets (kla RITH roe MYE sin)
Brand Name: Biaxin
Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018.
Uses of Biaxin:
- It is used to treat bacterial infections.
- It is used to prevent an infection in people with HIV.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Biaxin?
- If you have an allergy to clarithromycin or any other part of Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) caused liver problems before.
- If you have ever had a long QT on ECG or other heartbeat that is not normal.
- If you have any of these health problems: Low potassium or magnesium levels.
- If you have a slow heartbeat, talk with your doctor.
- If you have kidney or liver disease and are taking colchicine.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets), like certain drugs that are used for high cholesterol, migraines, or mood problems. There are many drugs that must not be taken with Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets).
- If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Biaxin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) affects you.
- Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) with your other drugs.
- This medicine may cause a type of abnormal heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). If this happens, the chance of other unsafe and sometimes deadly abnormal heartbeats may be raised. Talk with the doctor.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets). Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor. In one study, people with heart disease who took clarithromycin had a higher chance of death a year or more later than those who did not take clarithromycin. The cause of this was not known. Other studies have shown different results.
- If you are 65 or older, use Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets), call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Biaxin) best taken?
Use Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Shortness of breath.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets). Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- It is common to have diarrhea when taking Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets). Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets) or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Biaxin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Belly pain.
- Change in taste.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Biaxin?
- Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Biaxin (clarithromycin tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Biaxin (clarithromycin)
- Biaxin Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- En Español
- 73 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: macrolides
- Biaxin (Clarithromycin Oral Suspension)
- Biaxin (Advanced Reading)
- Biaxin Filmtab (Advanced Reading)
Other brands: Biaxin XL