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Can Biaxin cause yeast infections?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Oct 1, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

After taking a full course of antibiotics such as Biaxin (clarithromycin), it is possible that you may develop a yeast infection, also called thrush. This is because Biaxin increases the likelihood of a candida albicans imbalance.

Candida is a fungus that lives inside your body and on the skin, and its overgrowth can lead to yeast infections. Antibiotics not only kill the bacteria causing your primary infection, but they also kill the good bacteria that normally keep candida from growing out of control.

Biaxin is typically prescribed to treat mild to moderate bacterial infections such as sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and tonsillitis.

As with other antibiotics, there is a risk of yeast overgrowth and infection when taking Biaxin.

Symptoms include:

  1. In women: A yeast infection causes an odorless, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge, along with irritation and itching of the vulvovaginal region. It can also cause stinging or pain during urination or sexual intercourse.
  2. In men: Burning, irritation and redness at the head of the penis, a cottage cheese-like discharge and odor are common. If the foreskin is still in place, it too may become irritated, and it may become difficult to pull it back.

Yeast infections can also occur inside your mouth and on the skin.

Treatment includes vaginal or oral antifungal medication, depending on the location. To minimize the chance of a yeast infection from Biaxin, be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed. Taking supplemental probiotics may also help reduce your risk of a yeast infection.

References
  1. National Health Service UK (NHS). Clarithromycin. Dec 6, 2018. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/clarithromycin/. [Accessed September 24, 2021].
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Candidiasis. November 10, 2020. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html. [Accessed September 24, 2021].
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Biaxin. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/050662s044s050,50698s026s030,050775s015s019lbl.pdf. [Accessed September 24, 2021].
  4. National Health Service UK (NHS). Thrush in men and women. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/thrush-in-men-and-women/. [Accessed September 24, 2021].
  5. Superti F, De Seta F. Warding Off Recurrent Yeast and Bacterial Vaginal Infections: Lactoferrin and Lactobacilli. Microorganisms. 2021 January 17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023241/.

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