Clarithromycin

(kla rith' roe mye sin)

PCI  : Contraindicated in pregnancy

LCaution when used during lactation : Caution when used during lactation

Molecule Info

 | See TERMINOLOGY & ABBREVIATIONS |
Indication(s) & Dosage

Oral route
Susceptible infections
Adult: 250 mg bid increased to 500 mg bid for severe infections if necessary for 7-14 days.
Child: 7.5 mg/kg bid for 5-10 days.


Respiratory tract infections
Adult: 250 mg bid increased to 500 mg bid for severe infections if necessary for 7-14 days.
Child: 7.5 mg/kg bid for 5-10 days.


Skin and soft tissue infections
Adult: 250 mg bid increased to 500 mg bid for severe infections if necessary for 7-14 days.
Child: 7.5 mg/kg bid for 5-10 days.


Mycobacterium avium complex infections
Adult: 500 mg bid in combination with other antimycobacterials.
Child: 7.5 mg/kg bid; to be used with other antimycobacterials. May increase dose to 15 mg/kg (max: 500 mg) bid.


Leprosy
Adult: 500 mg daily as part of an alternative multidrug therapy.


Eradication of H. pylori associated with peptic ulcer disease
Adult: 500 mg bid; given in combination with another antibacterial and either a proton pump inhibitor or H2-receptor antagonist for 7-14 days.
Child: â‰¥1 yr: 7.5 mg/kg bid; may be given with another antibacterial and a proton pump inhibitor for 7 days.

Intravenous route
Respiratory tract infections
Adult: 500 mg bid for 2-5 days. Dose to be infused over 60 minutes in a 0.2% solution; revert to oral therapy whenever possible.
Child: 1 mth-12 yr: 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hr. Dose to be given via infusion into proximal vein.

Skin and soft tissue infections
Adult: 500 mg bid for 2-5 days. Dose to be infused over 60 minutes in a 0.2% solution; revert to oral therapy whenever possible.
Child: 1 mth-12 yr: 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hr. Dose to be given via infusion into proximal vein.


Susceptible infections
Adult: 500 mg bid for 2-5 days. Dose to be infused over 60 minutes in a 0.2% solution; revert to oral therapy whenever possible.
Child: 1 mth-12 yr: 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hr. Dose to be given via infusion into proximal vein.
Administration Should be taken with food.
Overdosage GI symptoms e.g. abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. Prompt elimination of unabsorbed drug and supportive treatment should be instituted. Haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis not expected to be helpful.
Contraindications Hypersensitivity. Patients receiving terfenadine, astemizole, pimozide, cisapride and ergot derivatives. Pregnancy; history of acute porphyria.
Special Precautions Renal and hepatic impairment; macrolide cross-resistance; lactation, children.
Adverse Drug Reaction(s) GI upset, glossitis, stomatitis, altered taste; headache, dizziness, hallucinations, insomnia, other CNS effects; rash; hepatic dysfunction,
Potentially Fatal: Pseudomembranous colitis, anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Drug Interactions May potentiate oral anticoagulant action. May elevate serum digoxin concentration.
Potentially Fatal: Increases plasma concentrations of terfenadine or astemizole. Increases the risk of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with preexisting cardiac diseases. Please consult detailed drug interactions before prescribing.
Food Interaction Food may interfere with absorption though not clinically significant.
Pregnancy Category (FDA) Category C: Either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the foetus (teratogenic or embryocidal or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.
Storage Intravenous: Store at 15-25°C.
Pharmacology Clarithromycin inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50s ribosomal subunits of susceptible organisms. It has activity against susceptible streptococci and staphylococci as well as other species including B. catarrhalis, L. spp, C. trachomatis and U. urealyticum.
Absorption: Rapidly absorbed from the GI tract (oral).
Distribution: Widely distributed (concentrations exceed those in serum); enters the breast milk.
Metabolism: Hepatic (extensive); converted to 14-hydroxyclarithromycin and other metabolites.
Excretion: Via the bile into the faeces; via the urine (20-30% as unchanged, 10-15% as 14-hydroxyclarithromycin and other metabolites).3-4 hr and 5-7 hr (elimination half-life)
ATC Classification J01FA09 - clarithromycin; Belongs to the class of macrolides. Used in the treatment of systemic infections.

Brand/Product Info


Total Products : 19                   
Brand Name Manufacturer/Marketer Composition Dosage Form Pack Size & Price
BINOCLAR Sandoz/Novartis Clarithromycin USP 250mg Tablet 14's: 495.60 MRP
BINOCLAR 500 Sandoz/Novartis Clarithromycin USP 500mg Tablet 14's: 924.36 MRP
BINOCLAR SR Sandoz/Novartis Clarithromycin USP 500mg Capsule 10's: 780.00 MRP
BINOCLAR SUSPENSION Sandoz/Novartis Clarithromycin USP 125mg/5ml Suspension 60ml: 340.00 MRP
CLACIN Medimet Pharmaceuticals Ltd Clarithromycin 500mg Tablet 4's: 160.00 MRP
CLARICIN The Acme Laboratories Ltd. Clarithromycin 250mg & 500mg Tablet 8's each: 200.80 & 321.20 MRP
CLARIN Drug International Ltd Clarithromycin 250mg & 500mg Tablet 250mg x10's, 500mg x10's: 200.00 & 400.00 MRP
CLARISON Hudson Pharmaceuticals Ltd Clarithromycin 500mg Tablet 10's: 450.00 MRP
KLABEX Opsonin Pharma Limited Clarithromycin 250mg & 500mg Tablet 250mg x10's, 500mg x6's: 300.00 & 240.00 MRP
KLABEX SR Opsonin Pharma Limited Clarithromycin 500mg Tablet (sustained release) 6's: 468.00 MRP
KLARICID I/V Abbott/UniMed Clarithromycin lactobionate 500mg (I/V) Injection 500mg: 464.15 MRP
Klarix 250 Incepta Pharmaceuticals Limited Clarithromycin USP 250 mg Film Coated Tablet 10x1's:MRP 250 Tk
Klarix 500 Incepta Pharmaceuticals Limited Clarithromycin USP 250 mg Film Coated Tablet 3x2's:MRP 240 Tk
KLARIX Suspension Incepta Pharmaceuticals Limited Clarithromycin USP 125mg/5ml Suspension 60ml: 340.00 MRP
MACLAR Techno Drugs Clarithromycin 250mg & 500mg Tablet 6's each: 180.00 & 240.00 MRP
MACLAR I/V Techno Drugs Clarithromycin lactobionate 500mg (I/V) Injection 500mg/vial: 300.00 MRP
MACLAR Suspension Techno Drugs Clarithromycin 125mg/5ml Suspension 60ml: 300.00 MRP
MACROBID General Pharmaceuticals Ltd Clarithromycin 500mg Tablet 4's: 200.76 MRP
REMAC 500 Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Clarithromycin 500mg Tablet 1x6's: 241.62 MRP

Gen. MedInfo

Why is Clarithromycin prescribed?

Clarithromycin is used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), bronchitis (infection of the tubes leading to the lungs), and infections of the ears, sinuses, skin, and throat. It also is used to treat and prevent disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection [a type of lung infection that often affects people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)]. It is used in combination with other medications to eliminate H. pylori, a bacterium that causes ulcers. Clarithromycin is in a class of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics will not kill viruses that can cause colds, flu, or other infections.

How should Clarithromycin be used 

Clarithromycin may come as a tablet/capsule, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. The regular tablet and liquid are usually taken with or without food every 12 hours (twice a day) for 7 to 14 days. The long-acting tablet is usually taken with food every 24 hours (once a day) for 7 to 14 days. Your doctor may inform you to take clarithromycin for a longer time depending on your condition. Take clarithromycin at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take clarithromycin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.

The tablets should be taken with a full glass of water. Swallow the long-acting tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with clarithromycin. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.

Take clarithromycin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking clarithromycin too soon, or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

Other uses for Clarithromycin

Clarithromycin also is used sometimes to treat other types of infections including Lyme disease (an infection that may develop after a person is bitten by a tick), cryptosporidiosis (an infection that causes diarrhea), cat scratch disease (an infection that may develop after a person is bitten or scratched by a cat), Legionnaires' disease, (type of lung infection), and pertussis (whooping cough; a serious infection that can cause severe coughing). It is also sometimes used to prevent heart infection in patients having dental or other procedures. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using Clarithromycin for your condition.

Clarithromycin may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions to follow?

Before taking clarithromycin 

  • inform your doctor if you are allergic to clarithromycin, azithromycin, dirithromycin , erythromycin, telithromycin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in clarithromycin tablets or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • inform your doctor if you are taking astemizole ,cisapride, colchicine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, lovastatin  pimozide, simvastatin, or terfenadine  [not available in the U.S.]. Your doctor will probably inform you not to take clarithromycin if you are taking one or more of these medications.
  • inform your doctor if you have or have ever had prolonged QT interval  or ventricular arrhythmia  or if you have ever had jaundice  or other liver problems while taking clarithromycin, Your doctor will probably inform you not to take clarithromycin.
  • inform your doctor what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants  such as warfarin; certain benzodiazepines such as alprazolam, midazolam, and triazolam; bromocriptine; calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine, diltiazem, and verapamil; carbamazepine [Tegretol]; certain medications for HIV such as atazanavir, didanosine, efavirenz, nevirapine, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, and zidovudine; certain medications for irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, and sotalol; cholesterol-lowering medications  such as atorvastatin  and pravastatin; cilostazol; cyclosporine; darifenacin; digoxin; erlotinib; eszopiclone; fluconazole; insulin; itraconazole; methylprednisolone; omeprazole; oral medications for diabetes such as nateglinide, pioglitazone, repaglinide, and rosiglitazone; phenytoin; ranitidine [Zantac]; rifabutin; rifampin; rifapentine; sildenafil [Viagra]; tacrolimus [Prograf]; theophylline; tadalafil; tolterodine; valproate; valproic acid; vardenafil; and vinblastine. Many other medications may also interact with clarithromycin, so inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • inform your doctor if you have a low level of magnesium or potassium in your blood, or if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, or kidney, or liver disease.
  • inform your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking clarithromycin, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, inform the doctor or dentist that you are taking clarithromycin.

What special dietary instructions to follow? 

Unless your doctor informs you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What to do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can Clarithromycin cause?

Clarithromycin may cause side effects. inform your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: 

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • st omach pain

  • heartburn

  • gas

  • change in taste

  • headache

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • rash

  • hives

  • itching

  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

  • hoarseness

  • peeling or blistering skin

  • fever

  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

  • extreme tiredness

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • lack of energy

  • loss of appetite

  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach

  • dark-colored urine

  • flu-like symptoms

  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

  • muscle weakness such as difficulty chewing, talking, or performing daily activities

  • double vision 

Clarithromycin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking Clarithromycin.

What to know about storage and disposal of Clarithromycin? 

Keep Clarithromycin in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Do not refrigerate the suspension. Keep it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture. Throw away any unused suspension after 14 days. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, consult your doctor. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, consult local medical emergency services.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following: 

  • stomach pain

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

What other information to know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to clarithromycin.

The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medication as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in the stool. This is normal and does not mean that you did not get the full dose of medication.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the clarithromycin, call your doctor.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Ref:  U.S. National Library of Medicine.


This information is provided for reference only and not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a registered medical practitioner. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, mph-bd shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise.