Generic Name: telithromycin (tel IT roe MYE sin)
Brand Name: Ketek
What is telithromycin?
Telithromycin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.
Telithromycin is used to treat mild to moderate pneumonia caused by certain types of bacteria.
Telithromycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about telithromycin?
Do not take this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction or liver problems caused by telithromycin or similar antibiotics. You should not take telithromycin if you also take cisapride or pimozide, or if you have kidney or liver disease AND you are also taking colchicine.
Do not take telithromycin if you have myasthenia gravis. Some people with myasthenia gravis have developed serious or fatal lung problems while taking telithromycin.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking telithromycin?
You should not use telithromycin if you are allergic to it, or if:
you have myasthenia gravis;
you have ever had an allergic reaction or liver problems while taking telithromycin or similar antibiotics, such as azithromycin (Zithromax), erythromycin, clarithromycin (Biaxin), troleandomycin (TAO), or dirithromycin (Dynabac);
you also take cisapride or pimozide (Orap); or
you have kidney or liver disease AND you are taking colchicine (Colcrys).
Some people with myasthenia gravis have developed serious or fatal lung problems while taking telithromycin.
To make sure telithromycin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood;
a heart rhythm disorder (especially if you take certain medications to treat it);
very slow heartbeats; or
a personal or family history of long QT syndrome.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Telithromycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Telithromycin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take telithromycin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take telithromycin with or without food.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Telithromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking telithromycin?
If you also use theophylline, avoid using it within 1 hour before or 1 hour after you take telithromycin.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Telithromycin may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.
Telithromycin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeats;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
problems with vision (difficulty focusing, double vision); or
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect telithromycin?
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with telithromycin. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:
cholesterol-lowering medicine--atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin; or
ergot medicine--dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine.
Many other drugs can interact with telithromycin. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
an antibiotic--clarithromycin, nafcillin, rifampin, telithromycin;
antifungal medicine--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS--atazanavir, boceprevir, cobicistat (Evotaz, Prezcobix, Stribild, Tybost), delavirdine, efavirenz, etravirine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir;
a blood thinner--warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven;
heart or blood pressure medication--amlodipine, digoxin, diltiazem, metoprolol, nicardipine, quinidine, verapamil;
medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection--cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus; or
seizure medicine--carbamazepine, phenytoin.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with telithromycin. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
More about Ketek (telithromycin)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about telithromycin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: March 02, 2016