This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
ACT Clarithromycin XL; APO-Clarithromycin; APO-Clarithromycin XL; Biaxin; Biaxin XL; DOM-Clarithromycin; GEN-Clarithromycin; M-Clarithromycin; MYLAN-Clarithromycin [DSC]; PMS-Clarithromycin; RAN-Clarithromycin; RIVA-Clarithromycin; SANDOZ Clarithromycin; TARO-Clarithromycin; TEVA-Clarithromycin
- It is used to treat bacterial infections.
- It is used to prevent an infection in people with HIV.
- It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
- If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
- If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If this drug caused liver problems before.
- If your child has ever had a long QT on ECG or other heartbeat that is not normal.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Low potassium levels, low magnesium levels, or slow heartbeat.
- If your child takes any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for high cholesterol, migraines, or mood problems. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
- If your child is 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 the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
- Do not give to your child longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch his/her blood sugar closely.
- This drug interacts with many other drugs. The chance of side effects may be raised. This may include severe, life-threatening, or deadly side effects. Check with your child’s doctor and pharmacist to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of your child’s other drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins).
- This drug 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 this drug. 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 your child has heart disease, talk with your child’s 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.
- Myasthenia gravis that has gotten worse has happened during treatment with this drug.
If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.
- Tell the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about any risks to the baby.
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 child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has 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 this drug. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has 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.
- Diarrhea is common with antibiotics. Rarely, a severe form called C diff–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking antibiotics. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery, or bloody stools. Check with your child’s doctor before treating diarrhea.
- 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 your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- You may see the tablet shell in your child’s stool. This is normal and not a cause for concern. If your child’s health problem does not get better and you are seeing the tablet shell in your child’s stool, talk with the doctor.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Belly pain.
- Change in taste.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
- Keep giving this drug to your child as you have been told by your child’s doctor or other health care provider, even if your child feels well.
- Give with food.
- Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.
All other products:
- Give this drug with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Shake well before use.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug.
- Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
- Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- 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.
- Throw away any part not used after 2 weeks.
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
- Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s 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.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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