Clarithromycin, also known and sold under the trade names of Biaxin, Biaxin Filmtab, and Biaxin XL, is a product which is known as macrolide antibiotic, usually used in the treatment of different kinds of infections.
It may be used in a combination with other medications to treat stomach ulcers. It is considered to work by stopping the growth process of the bacteria.
This product is available in the forms of a powder for solution, and a tablet.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before you agree to the treatment with this product make sure to get informed about the potential beneficial effects as well as about the potential risks and side effects.
For the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential for the beneficial effects to outweigh the potential risks.
This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in pediatric patients. Because of this, it is recommended to be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Geriatric – Proper studies done have not shown any age-connected risks when this medication is used in geriatric patients. However, it is known that the elderly more commonly suffer from kidney disease and heart rhythm problems, because of that extra caution is required when this product is used in geriatric patients.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.
It is unknown how would it affect the fetus. Because of this, it is recommended to be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers.
It is unknown if the medication is extracted in the milk or how would it affect the infant. Because of this, it is recommended to be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with others, because of the possibility that certain interactions could occur.
However, sometimes the doctor may decide to treat your condition with a certain type of a combination including two or more medications if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medication is not recommended to be used in a combination with food, tobacco and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol during the treatment with this medication.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems, and condition from the past or at the moment.
Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present:
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This product is taken orally, with water. It could be also taken with milk if there are present stomach upsets.
Take the tablet whole. Do not crush, break or chew the tablet. The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your condition, weight and the prognosis of the treatment.
The usual dose is one tablet, every 12 hours. For the most beneficial effects, take the proper dose regularly. If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
Do not double to catch up. If an overdose is suspected, inform the doctor right away for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments, so that he or she could track your condition and make any adjustments if necessary.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment if there are any serious side effects present or if your condition does not improve or worsens.
Inform the doctor about any allergic reaction to any kind of medication, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this product may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication during pregnancy, due to the lack of studies that would normally confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.
The doctor may advise you to start using a proven form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy during the treatment. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, due to the lack of studies that would normally confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers.
This product may cause live bacterial vaccines not to work. Because of that, do not get any immunizations without your doctor’s advice.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its needed beneficial effects, there are potential side effects which could occur. These side effects do not occur in all patients. Also, they could be mild or more serious.
However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible for further directions.
Common side effects – diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, headache, and changes in taste. These side effects are common and are not considered as serious. But if their presence worsens or if they persist, inform the doctor right away.
Serious side effects – hearing loss, mood changes, muscle weakness, eye problems, slurred speech, persistent vomiting and nausea, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, or yellowing of the skin/eyes. If you notice any of these serious side effects, inform the doctor as soon as possible.
A very serious allergic reaction is not common, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, swelling/itching of the hands/feet/face/tongue, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
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