Drug Information for CLARITHROMYCIN (KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS): Information For Patients

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  • Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including clarithromycin should only be used totreat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). Whenclarithromycin is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it iscommon to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly asdirected. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease theeffectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will developresistance and will not be treatable by clarithromycin or other antibacterial drugs in the future.

    Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic isdiscontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery andbloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months afterhaving taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician assoon as possible.

    Clarithromycin may interact with some drugs; therefore patients should be advised to report to theirdoctor the use of any other medications.

    Clarithromycin Tablets, USP and Clarithromycin for Oral Suspension, USP can be taken with orwithout food and can be taken with milk; however, BIAXIN XL (clarithromycin extended-releasetablets) should be taken with food. Do NOT refrigerate the suspension.

  • Drug Information Provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).
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