July 30, 2016
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Biaxin

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Biaxin, Biaxin XL




Biaxin Side Effects Center

Pharmacy Editor: Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

Last reviewed on RxList 5/15/2015

Biaxin (clarithromycin) is a macrolide antibiotic prescribed for certain bacterial infections including skin and middle ear infections, tonsillitis, throat infections, laryngitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. Biaxin is available as a generic called clarithromycin. Common side effects of Biaxin include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth, indigestion, abdominal pain, headache, tooth discoloration, itching or rash, or vaginal itching or discharge.

Biaxin adult dose is 250mg to 500mg twice daily or 1000mg once daily (extended release) and dosage in children is based on the weight. Drug interactions of Biaxin include terfenadine (Seldane), astemizole (Hismanal), loratadine (Claritin), warfarin (Coumadin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), digoxin (Lanoxin), lovastatin (Mevacor), and phenytoin (Dilantin). The use of Biaxin should be avoided in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers unless the risk outweighs the benefits.

Our Biaxin Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Biaxin in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath, fainting;
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • fever, swollen glands, body aches, flu symptoms, new or worsening cough;
  • skin rash, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • confusion, vomiting, swelling, rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • problems with your hearing; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Clarithromycin may also cause severe liver symptoms. Stop taking clarithromycin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms:

  • low fever, itching;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • tooth discoloration;
  • headache;
  • mild itching or rash; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Biaxin (Clarithromycin)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Biaxin Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, and changes in taste may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: hearing loss, mental/mood changes, muscle weakness, eye problems (such as drooping eyelids, blurred vision), slurred speech, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes or skin.

This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.

Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of these symptoms because these products may make them worse.

Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Biaxin (Clarithromycin)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Biaxin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are described below and elsewhere in the labeling:

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Based on pooled data across all indications, the most frequent adverse reactions for both adult and pediatric populations observed in clinical trials are abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and dysgeusia. Also reported were dyspepsia, liver function test abnormal, anaphylactic reaction, candidiasis, headache, insomnia, and rash.

The subsequent subsections list the most common adverse reactions for prophylaxis and treatment of mycobacterial infections and duodenal ulcer associated with H. pylori infection. In general, these profiles are consistent with the pooled data described above.

Prophylaxis Of Mycobacterial Infections

In AIDS patients treated with BIAXIN over long periods of time for prophylaxis against M. avium, it was often difficult to distinguish adverse reactions possibly associated with BIAXIN administration from underlying HIV disease or intercurrent illness. Median duration of treatment was 10.6 months for the BIAXIN group and 8.2 months for the placebo group.

Table 4: Incidence Rates (%) of Selected Adverse Reactionsa in Immunocompromised Adult Patients Receiving Prophylaxis Against M. avium Complex

Body Systemb
Adverse Reaction
BIAXIN
(n=339) %
Placebo
(n=339) %
Body as a Whole
  Abdominal pain 5% 4%
  Headache 3% 1%
Digestive
  Diarrhea 8% 4%
  Dyspepsia 4% 3%
  Flatulence 2% 1%
  Nausea 11% 7%
  Vomiting 6% 3%
Skin & Appendages
  Rash 3% 4%
Special Senses
  Taste Perversion 8%c 0.3%
a Includes those events possibly or probably related to study drug and excludes concurrent conditions
b 2% or greater Adverse Reaction Incidence Rates for either treatment group
c Significant higher incidence compared to the placebo-treated group

Discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 18% of patients receiving BIAXIN compared to 17% of patients receiving placebo in this trial. Primary reasons for discontinuation in BIAXIN treated patients include headache, nausea, vomiting, depression, and taste perversion.

Changes In Laboratory Values

Selected laboratory adverse experiences that were reported during therapy in greater than 2 % of adult patients treated with BIAXIN in a randomized double-blind clinical trial involving 682 patients are presented in Table 5.

In immunocompromised patients receiving prophylaxis against M. avium, evaluations of laboratory values were made by analyzing those values outside the seriously abnormal value (i.e., the extreme high or low limit) for the specified test.

Table 5: Percentage of Patientsa Exceeding Extreme Laboratory Values in Patients Receiving Prophylaxis Against M. avium Complex

    BIAXIN 500 mg twice a day Placebo
WBC Count < 1 x 109/L 2/103 (4%) 0/95
SGOT > 5 x ULNb 7/196 (4%) 5/208 (2%)
SGPT > 5 x ULNb 6/217 (3%) 4/232 (2%)
a Includes only patients with baseline values within the normal range or borderline high (hematology variables) and within normal range or borderline low (chemistry variables)
b ULN= Upper Limit of Normal

Treatment Of Mycobacterial Infections

The adverse reaction profiles for both the 500 mg and 1000 mg twice a day dose regimens were similar.

In AIDS patients and other immunocompromised patients treated with the higher doses of BIAXIN over long periods of time for mycobacterial infections, it was often difficult to distinguish adverse reactions possibly associated with BIAXIN administration from underlying signs of HIV disease or intercurrent illness.

The following analysis summarizes experience during the first 12 weeks of therapy with BIAXIN. Data are reported separately for trial 1 (randomized, double-blind) and trial 2 (openlabeled, compassionate use) and also combined. Adverse reactions were reported less frequently in trial 2, which may be due in part to differences in monitoring between the two studies.

In adult patients receiving BIAXIN 500 mg twice a day, the most frequently reported adverse reactions, considered possibly or possibly related to study drug, with an incidence of 5% or greater, are listed below (Table 6). Approximately 8% of the patients who received 500 mg twice a day and 12% of the patients who received 1000 mg twice a day discontinued therapy due to drug related adverse reactions during the first 12 weeks of therapy; adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in at least 2 patients included nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, and asthenia.

Table 6: Selected Treatment-Relateda Adverse Reaction Incidence Rates (%) in Immunocompromised Adult Patients During the First 12 Weeks of Therapy with 500 mg Twice a Day BIAXIN Dose

Adverse Reaction Trial 1
(n=53)
Trial 2
(n=255)
Combined
(n=308)
Abdominal Pain 8 2 3
Diarrhea 9 2 3
Flatulence 8 0 1
Headache 8 0 2
Nausea 28 9 12
Rash 9 2 3
Taste Perversion 19 0 4
Vomiting 25 4 8
a Includes those events possibly or probably related to study drug and excludes concurrent conditions

A limited number of pediatric AIDS patients have been treated with BIAXIN suspension for mycobacterial infections. The most frequently reported adverse reactions excluding those due to the patient's concurrent conditions were consistent with those observed in adult patients.

Changes In Laboratory Values

In the first 12 weeks of starting on BIAXIN 500 mg twice a day, 3% of patients has SGOT increases and 2% of patients has SGPT increases > 5 times the upper limit of normal in trial 2 (469 enrolled adult patients) while trial 1 (154 enrolled patients) had no elevation of transaminases. This includes only patients with baseline values within the normal range or borderline low.

Duodenal Ulcer Associated With H. pylori Infection

In clinical trials using combination therapy with BIAXIN plus omeprazole and amoxicillin, no adverse reactions specific to the combination of these drugs have been observed. Adverse reactions that have occurred have been limited to those that have been previously reported with BIAXIN, omeprazole or amoxicillin.

The adverse reaction profiles are shown below (Table 7) for four randomized double-blind clinical trials in which patients received the combination of BIAXIN 500 mg three times a day, and omeprazole 40 mg daily for 14 days, followed by omeprazole 20 mg once a day, (three studies) or 40 mg once a day (one study) for an additional 14 days. Of the 346 patients who received the combination, 3.5% of patients discontinued drug due to adverse reactions.

Table 7: Adverse Reactions with an Incidence of 3% or Greater

Adverse Reaction BIAXIN + Omeprazole
(n=346) % of Patients
Omeprazole
(n=355) % of Patients
BIAXIN
(n=166) % of Patientsa
Taste Perversion 15 1 16
Nausea 5 1 3
Headache 5 6 9
Diarrhea 4 3 7
Vomiting 4 < 1 1
Abdominal Pain 3 2 1
Infection 3 4 2
a Only two of four studies

Changes in Laboratory Values

Changes in laboratory values with possible clinical significance in patients taking BIAXIN and omeprazole in four randomized double-blind trials in 945 patients are as follows: Hepatic: elevated direct bilirubin < 1%; GGT < 1%; SGOT (AST) < 1%; SGPT (ALT) < 1%, Renal: elevated serum creatinine < 1%.

Less Frequent Adverse Reactions Observed During Clinical Trials Of Clarithromycin

Based on pooled data across all indications, the following adverse reactions were observed in clinical trials with clarithromycin at a rate less than 1%:

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: Leukopenia, neutropenia, thrombocythemia, eosinophilia

Cardiac Disorders: Electrocardiogram QT prolonged, cardiac arrest, atrial fibrillation, extrasystoles, palpitations

Ear and Labyrinth Disorders: Vertigo, tinnitus, hearing impaired

Gastrointestinal Disorders: Stomatitis, glossitis, esophagitis, gastrooesophageal reflux disease, gastritis, proctalgia, abdominal distension, constipation, dry mouth, eructation, flatulence

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: Malaise, pyrexia, asthenia, chest pain, chills, fatigue

Hepatobiliary Disorders: Cholestasis, hepatitis

Immune System Disorders: Hypersensitivity

Infections and Infestations: Cellulitis, gastroenteritis, infection, vaginal infection

Investigations: Blood bilirubin increased, blood alkaline phosphatase increased, blood lactate dehydrogenase increased, albumin globulin ratio abnormal

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: Anorexia, decreased appetite

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: Myalgia, muscle spasms, nuchal rigidity

Nervous System Disorders: Dizziness, tremor, loss of consciousness, dyskinesia, somnolence

Psychiatric Disorders: Anxiety, nervousness

Renal and Urinary Disorders: Blood creatinine increased, blood urea increased

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders: Asthma, epistaxis, pulmonary embolism

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: Urticaria, dermatitis bullous, pruritus, hyperhidrosis, rash maculo-papular

Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

In the acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis and acute maxillary sinusitis studies overall gastrointestinal adverse reactions were reported by a similar proportion of patients taking either BIAXIN Filmtab or BIAXIN XL Filmtab; however, patients taking BIAXIN XL Filmtab reported significantly less severe gastrointestinal symptoms compared to patients taking BIAXIN Filmtab. In addition, patients taking BIAXIN XL Filmtab had significantly fewer premature discontinuations for drug-related gastrointestinal or abnormal taste adverse reactions compared to BIAXIN Filmtab.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of BIAXIN. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Blood and Lymphatic System: Thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis

Cardiac: Ventricular arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes

Ear and Labyrinth: Deafness was reported chiefly in elderly women and was usually reversible.

Gastrointestinal: Pancreatitis acute, tongue discoloration, tooth discoloration was reported and was usually reversible with professional cleaning upon discontinuation of the drug.

There have been reports of BIAXIN XL Filmtab in the stool, many of which have occurred in patients with anatomic (including ileostomy or colostomy) or functional gastrointestinal disorders with shortened GI transit times. In several reports, tablet residues have occurred in the context of diarrhea. It is recommended that patients who experience tablet residue in the stool and no improvement in their condition should be switched to a different clarithromycin formulation (e.g. suspension) or another antibacterial drug.

Hepatobiliary: Hepatic failure, jaundice hepatocellular. Adverse reactions related to hepatic dysfunction have been reported with clarithromycin [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Infections and Infestations: Pseudomembranous colitis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Immune System: Anaphylactic reactions, angioedema

Investigations: Prothrombin time prolonged, white blood cell count decreased, international normalized ratio increased. Abnormal urine color has been reported, associated with hepatic failure.

Metabolism and Nutrition: Hypoglycemia has been reported in patients taking oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin.

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue: Myopathy rhabdomyolysis was reported and in some of the reports, clarithromycin was administered concomitantly with statins, fibrates, colchicine or allopurinol [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Nervous System: Parosmia, anosmia, ageusia, paresthesia and convulsions

Psychiatric: Abnormal behavior, confusional state, depersonalization, disorientation, hallucination, depression, manic behavior, abnormal dream, psychotic disorder. These disorders usually resolve upon discontinuation of the drug.

Renal and Urinary: Nephritis interstitial, renal failure

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue: Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), Henoch-Schonlein purpura, acne

Vascular: Hemorrhage

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Biaxin (Clarithromycin)

Biaxin, Biaxin XL - User Reviews

Biaxin, Biaxin XL User Reviews

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Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Biaxin, Biaxin XL sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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