1 What is Ketek?

Brand: Ketek, Ketek Pak

Generic: Telithromycin

Ketek is an antibiotic drug approved to treat mild to moderate community-acquired pneumonia. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a type of pneumonia (inflammation of the lung) contracted by patients not confined in a health institution or has been confined for only a few days. CAP is a very common health problem, and it is the leading cause of death. CAP can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites.

Doctors prescribe Telithromycin to treat CAP caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (including multidrug-resistant isolates), Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Chlamydophila (also known as Chlamydia) pneumoniae, or Mycoplasma pneumonia.

Telithromycin is the only member of the ketolide class of antibiotics and is closely related to macrolide antibiotics such as Azithromycin and Erythromycin.

Telithromycin is a prescription medicine.

Telithromycin may cause worsening of breathing problems in people with myasthenia gravis, a disease of the muscles and nerves that cause muscle weakness. Patients with suspected or with a confirmed diagnosis of myasthenia gravis must not use Telithromycin.

Telithromycin works only for pneumonia caused by bacteria. It will not treat pneumonia caused by fungi or viruses.

Only use Telithromycin according to doctor’s instructions.

2 What to know before using

Before using Ketek, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

You cannot use Telithromycin if you are allergic to it. If you experienced allergies to Telithromycin before, tell it to your doctor right away.

You cannot use Telithromycin if you have the following conditions:

  • Have irregular heartbeat conditions such as prolonged QT syndrome and congenital QT prolongation
  • Severely slow heartbeat
  • Untreated low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood
  • Have myasthenia gravis
  • Liver problems like hepatitis
  • Had jaundice or hepatitis after taking macrolide antibiotics
  • If you are taking the drug Colchicine and have liver or heart problems

Tell the doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before receiving Telithromycin. Telithromycin is an FDA pregnancy category C drug and may cause risk of harm to unborn babies when given to pregnant patients.

elithromycin may be expressed in breast milk, so do not express milk or nurse a baby when receiving the drug.

The safety of Telithromycin in children and patients less than 18 years of age is not fully understood.

If you have diarrhea or stomach infection, tell the doctor before receiving Telithromycin.

Telithromycin interacts with many drugs. Tell the doctor all the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements, before receiving Telithromycin. This will prevent interactions that may cause undesirable effects. Tell the doctor if you use the following medications:

  • Drugs that correct irregular heartbeat (antiarrhythmics) such as
    • Quinidine,
    • Procainamide,
    • Dofetilide,
    • Astemizole,
    • Cisapride,
    • Pimozide,
    • Propafenone,
    • Terfenadine.
  • Colcichine, which may increase the risk of side effects of Telithromycin.
  • Cholesterol or triglyceride lowering drugs such as
    • Atorvastatin,
    • Lovastatin,
    • Simvastatin, which may increase the risk of severe muscle or kidney problems.
  • Rifampin, which may reduce the effectiveness of Telithromycin.
  • Anticoagulant drugs like Warfarin
  • Benzodiazepines such as Midazolam and Triazolam
  • Digoxin
  • Water pills such as Furosemide and Hydrocholothiazide
  • Ergotamine
  • Ranolazine
  • Sleeping pills such as Eszopiclone
  • Drugs for hypertension
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system
  • Drugs for mood and psychiatric conditions
  • Multivitamins
  • Dietary substances such as
    • herbal teas,
    • coenzyme Q10,
    • garlic,
    • ginseng,
    • ginkgo,
    • St. John's wort

3 Proper usage

To use Ketek properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Telithromycin comes with an extra information leaflet. Make sure to understand the information on this leaflet before using Telithromycin. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Telithromycin is available in tablets that you take by mouth. The doctor determines your dose of Telithromycin. It is usually taken once a day.

You can take Telithromycin with or without food. Do not break, chew, open or crush Telithromycin tablets. Take Telithromycin at the same time every day.

Always take Telithromycin as prescribed. Continue taking the medicine even if you already feel well.

If you missed a dose of Telithromycin, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to regular dosing. Do not take two doses at once to make up for the missed dose.

Do not take more than the prescribed dose of Telithromycin. If you took too much Telithromycin tablets, call the doctor right away.

Store Telithromycin at room temperature and keep away from heat, moisture, and light.

4 Precautions to take

Before using Ketek, there are some precautions you must take.

Telithromycin may cause dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, fainting or vision problems, which can prove dangerous when driving or doing hazardous activities. Do not perform activities that require high-level of alertness after taking Telithromycin. Tell your doctor if you experienced vision issues, fainting, confusion or hallucinations after taking Telithromycin.

The doctor will schedule you to undergo lab tests while receiving Telithromycin. Make sure to keep up with clinic and lab appointments.

Like most antibiotics, in rare cases, Telithromycin can cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis (infection and inflammation of the large intestine). This condition may strike while using Telithromycin or several months after last using it. Call your doctor right away if you experience

If you experienced diarrhea while receiving Telithromycin, do not treat it yourself. Call your doctor immediately.

Always finish the full course of Telithromycin. Stopping use can make the bacteria more resistant to Telithromycin that makes it harder to treat.

Using Telithromycin for long periods can cause the appearance of a second infection. Discuss with your doctor about this risk. Call your doctor if you experience infection while receiving Telithromycin.

If you receive care from another doctor, a dentist or from emergency personnel, make sure they know you are receiving Telithromycin.

If you became pregnant or breastfeed while receiving Telithromycin, tell the doctor right away.

5 Potential side effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Ketek.

Call your doctor immediately if you experienced these serious side effects:

  • Severe allergic reactions such as
    • difficulty breathing,
    • skin rash,
    • hives,
    • itching,
    • swelling of the nose, mouth, tongue or throat
  • Passing out watery and bloody stools
  • Vision issues like difficulty focusing, blurring or seeing double
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine
  • Fainting
  • Too fast, too slow or irregular heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Severe or persistent diarrhea
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Cramps
  • Tenderness anywhere in the body
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Discharge, irritation or odor in the vagina
  • Jaundice

Telithromycin may cause minor side effects that are not harmful to health:

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