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Biaxin, Biaxin XL
Acute Hypersensitivity Reactions
In the event of severe acute hypersensitivity reactions, such as anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and Henoch-Schonlein purpura, discontinue BIAXIN therapy immediately and institute appropriate treatment.
BIAXIN has been associated with prolongation of the QT interval and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Cases of torsades de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving BIAXIN. Fatalities have been reported.
Avoid BIAXIN in the following patients:
- patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, ventricular cardiac arrhythmia, including torsades de pointes
- patients receiving drugs known to prolong the QT interval [see also CONTRAINDICATIONS]
- patients with ongoing proarrhythmic conditions such as uncorrected hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, clinically significant bradycardia and in patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide) or Class III (dofetilide, amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents.
Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval [see Use in Specific Populations].
Hepatic dysfunction, including increased liver enzymes, and hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis, with or without jaundice, has been reported with clarithromycin. This hepatic dysfunction may be severe and is usually reversible. In some instances, hepatic failure with fatal outcome has been reported and generally has been associated with serious underlying diseases and/or concomitant medications. Symptoms of hepatitis can include anorexia, jaundice, dark urine, pruritus, or tender abdomen. Discontinue BIAXIN immediately if signs and symptoms of hepatitis occur.
Serious Adverse Reactions Due To Concomitant Use With Other Drugs
Drugs metabolized by CYP3A4
Serious adverse reactions have been reported in patients taking BIAXIN concomitantly with CYP3A4 substrates. These include colchicine toxicity with colchicine; rhabdomyolysis with simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin; hypoglycemia with disopyramide; hypotension and acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine). Most reports of acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 involved elderly patients 65 years of age or older. Use BIAXIN with caution when administered concurrently with medications that induce the cytochrome CYP3A4 enzyme. The use of BIAXIN with simvastatin, lovastatin, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Life-threatening and fatal drug interactions have been reported in patients treated with BIAXIN and colchicine. Clarithromycin is a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor and this interaction may occur while using both drugs at their recommended doses. If co-administration of BIAXIN and colchicine is necessary in patients with normal renal and hepatic function, reduce the dose of colchicine. Monitor patients for clinical symptoms of colchicine toxicity. Concomitant administration of BIAXIN and colchicine is contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (statins)
Concomitant use of BIAXIN with lovastatin or simvastatin is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS] as these statins are extensively metabolized by CYP3A4, and concomitant treatment with BIAXIN increases their plasma concentration, which increases the risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis. Cases of rhabdomyolysis have been reported in patients taking BIAXIN concomitantly with these statins. If treatment with BIAXIN cannot be avoided, therapy with lovastatin or simvastatin must be suspended during the course of treatment.
Exercise caution when prescribing BIAXIN with atorvastatin or pravastatin. In situations where the concomitant use of BIAXIN with atorvastatin or pravastatin cannot be avoided, atorvastatin dose should not exceed 20 mg daily and pravastatin dose should not exceed 40 mg daily. Use of a statin that is not dependent on CYP3A metabolism (e.g. fluvastatin) can be considered. It is recommended to prescribe the lowest registered dose if concomitant use cannot be avoided.
Oral Hypoglycemic Agents/Insulin
The concomitant use of BIAXIN and oral hypoglycemic agents and/or insulin can result in significant hypoglycemia. With certain hypoglycemic drugs such as nateglinide, pioglitazone, repaglinide and rosiglitazone, inhibition of CYP3A enzyme by clarithromycin may be involved and could cause hypoglycemia when used concomitantly. Careful monitoring of glucose is recommended [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Use quetiapine and clarithromycin concomitantly with caution. Co-administration could result in increased quetiapine exposure and quetiapine related toxicities such as somnolence, orthostatic hypotension, altered state of consciousness, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and QT prolongation. Refer to quetiapine prescribing information for recommendations on dose reduction if co-administered with CYP3A4 inhibitors such as clarithromycin [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
There is a risk of serious hemorrhage and significant elevations in INR and prothrombin time when BIAXIN is co-administered with warfarin. Monitor INR and prothrombin times frequently while patients are receiving BIAXIN and oral anticoagulants concurrently [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Increased sedation and prolongation of sedation have been reported with concomitant administration of BIAXIN and triazolobenzodiazepines, such as triazolam and midazolam [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including BIAXIN, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibacterial use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibacterial use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibacterial treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Clarithromycin should not be used in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate. If BIAXIN is used during pregnancy, or if pregnancy occurs while the patient is taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Clarithromycin has demonstrated adverse effects on pregnancy outcome and/or embryo-fetal development in monkeys, rats, mice, and rabbits at doses that produced plasma levels 2 times to 17 times the serum levels achieved in humans treated at the maximum recommended human doses [see Use in Specific Populations].
Exacerbation Of Myasthenia Gravis
Exacerbation of symptoms of myasthenia gravis and new onset of symptoms of myasthenic syndrome has been reported in patients receiving BIAXIN therapy.
Development Of Drug Resistant Bacteria
Prescribing BIAXIN in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
The following in vitro mutagenicity tests have been conducted with clarithromycin:
- Salmonella/Mammalian Microsomes Test
- Bacterial Induced Mutation Frequency Test
- In Vitro Chromosome Aberration Test
- Rat Hepatocyte DNA Synthesis Assay
- Mouse Lymphoma Assay
- Mouse Dominant Lethal Study
- Mouse Micronucleus Test
All tests had negative results except the in vitro chromosome aberration test which was positive in one test and negative in another. In addition, a bacterial reverse-mutation test (Ames test) has been performed on clarithromycin metabolites with negative results.
Impairment Of Fertility
Fertility and reproduction studies have shown that daily doses of up to 160 mg/kg/ to male and female rats caused no adverse effects on the estrous cycle, fertility, parturition, or number and viability of offspring. Plasma levels in rats after 150 mg/kg/day were twice the human serum levels.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Clarithromycin should not be used in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate. If pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Four teratogenicity studies in rats (three with oral doses and one with intravenous doses up to 160 mg/kg/day administered during the period of major organogenesis) and two in rabbits at oral doses up to 125 mg/kg/day (approximately twice the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m² ) or intravenous doses of 30 mg/kg/day administered during gestation days 6 to 18 failed to demonstrate any teratogenicity from clarithromycin. Two additional oral studies in a different rat strain at similar doses and similar conditions demonstrated a low incidence of cardiovascular anomalies at doses of 150 mg/kg/day administered during gestation days 6 to 15. Plasma levels after 150 mg/kg/day were twice the human serum levels. Four studies in mice revealed a variable incidence of cleft palate following oral doses of 1000 mg/kg/day (2 and 4 times the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m² , respectively) during gestation days 6 to 15. Cleft palate was also seen at 500 mg/kg/day. The 1000 mg/kg/day exposure resulted in plasma levels 17 times the human serum levels. In monkeys, an oral dose of 70 mg/kg/day produced fetal growth retardation at plasma levels that were twice the human serum levels.
Caution should be exercised when BIAXIN is administered to nursing women. The development and health benefits of human milk feeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for BIAXIN and any potential adverse effects on the human milk fed child from the drug or from the underlying maternal condition.
Clarithromycin and its active metabolite 14-hydroxy clarithromycin are excreted in human milk. Serum and milk samples were obtained after 3 days of treatment, at steady state, from one published study of 12 lactating women who were taking BIAXIN 250 mg orally twice daily. Based on the limited data from this study, and assuming milk consumption of 150 mL/kg/day, an exclusively human milk fed infant would receive an estimated average of 136 mcg/kg/day of clarithromycin and its active metabolite, with this maternal dosage regimen. This is less than 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose (7.8 mg/kg/day, based on the average maternal weight of 64 kg), and less than 1% of the pediatric dose (15 mg/kg/day) for children greater than 6 months of age.
A prospective observational study of 55 breastfed infants of mothers taking a macrolide antibacterial (6 were exposed to clarithromycin) were compared to 36 breastfed infants of mothers taking amoxicillin. Adverse reactions were comparable in both groups. Adverse reactions occurred in 12.7% of infants exposed to macrolides and included rash, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and somnolence.
The safety and effectiveness of BIAXIN Filmtab and BIAXIN Granules have been established for the treatment of the following conditions or diseases in pediatric patients 6 months and older. Use in these indications is based on clinical trials in pediatric patients or adequate and well-controlled studies in adults with additional pharmacokinetic and safety data in pediatric patients:
- Community-Acquired Pneumonia
- Acute maxillary sinusitis
- Acute otitis media [see Clinical Studies]
- Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections
The safety and effectiveness of BIAXIN Filmtab and BIAXIN Granules have been established for the prevention of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease in pediatric patients 20 months and older with advanced HIV infection. No studies of BIAXIN for MAC prophylaxis have been performed in pediatric populations and the doses recommended for prophylaxis are derived from MAC pediatric treatment studies.
The safety and effectiveness of BIAXIN XL Filmtab in the treatment of pediatric patients has not been established.
Safety and effectiveness of BIAXIN in pediatric patients under 6 months of age have not been established. The safety of BIAXIN has not been studied in MAC patients under the age of 20 months.
In a steady-state study in which healthy elderly subjects (65 years to 81 years of age) were given 500 mg of BIAXIN every 12 hours, the maximum serum concentrations and area under the curves of clarithromycin and 14-OH clarithromycin were increased compared to those achieved in healthy young adults. These changes in pharmacokinetics parallel known age-related decreases in renal function. In clinical trials, elderly patients did not have an increased incidence of adverse reactions when compared to younger patients. Consider dosage adjustment in elderly patients with severe renal impairment. Elderly patients may be more susceptible to development of torsades de pointes arrhythmias than younger patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Most reports of acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine) involved elderly patients 65 years of age or older [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Especially in elderly patients, there have been reports of colchicine toxicity with concomitant use of clarithromycin and colchicine, some of which occurred in patients with renal insufficiency. Deaths have been reported in some patients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Renal And Hepatic Impairment
BIAXIN is principally excreted via the liver and kidney. BIAXIN may be administered without dosage adjustment to patients with hepatic impairment and normal renal function. However, in the presence of severe renal impairment with or without coexisting hepatic impairment, decreased dosage or prolonged dosing intervals may be appropriate [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/28/2016
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