May 22, 2017
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Biaxin, Biaxin XL


Provide the following instructions or information about BIAXIN to patients:

  • Counsel patients that antibacterial drugs including BIAXIN (clarithromycin) should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When BIAXIN is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by BIAXIN or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
  • Advise patients that diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibacterials including BIAXIN (clarithromycin) which usually ends when the antibacterial is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibacterials, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibacterial. If this occurs, instruct patients to contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • Advise patients that BIAXIN (clarithromycin) may interact with some drugs; therefore, advise patients to report to their healthcare provider the use of any other medications.
  • Advise patients that BIAXIN (clarithromycin) Filmtab and oral suspension can be taken with or without food and can be taken with milk; however, BIAXIN XL Filmtab (clarithromycin extended-release tablets) should be taken with food. Do not refrigerate the suspension.
  • There are no data on the effect of BIAXIN (clarithromycin) on the ability to drive or use machines. However, counsel patients regarding the potential for dizziness, vertigo, confusion and disorientation, which may occur with the medication. The potential for these adverse reactions should be taken into account before patients drive or use machines.
  • Advise patients that if pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, there is a potential hazard to the fetus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/28/2016
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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