03/04/2009 19:41


Brand Name: Biaxin, Biaxin XL

Pregnancy Category B

Drug class: Macrolide antibiotic


Therapeutic actions

Inhibits protein synthesis in susceptible bacteria, causing cell death.


· Treatment of upper respiratory infections caused by S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae

· Treatment of lower respiratory infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, M. catarrhalis

· Treatment of skin and structure infections caused by S. aureus, S. pyogenes

· Treatment of disseminated mycobacterial infections due to M. avium and M. intracellular

· Treatment of active duodenal ulcer with H. pylori in combination with proton pump inhibitor

· Treatment of acute otitis media, acute maxillary sinusitis due to H. influenzae, M. cararrhalis, S. pneumoniae

· Treatment of mild to moderate community-acquired pneumonia in adults (ER tablets)



· Contraindicated with hypersensitivity to clarithromycin, erythromycin, or any macrolide antibiotic.



Adverse effects

Dizziness, headache, vertigo, somnolence, fatigue, Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, melena, pseudomembranous colitis, Superinfections, increased PT, decreased WBC


Drug Interactions:

· Increased serum levels and effects of carbamazepine, theophylline, lovastatin, phenytoin

· Food decreases the rate of absorption of clarithromycin but does not alter effectiveness

· Decreased metabolism and risk of toxic effects if combined with grapefruit juice; avoid this combination.


Nursing considerations

· Culture infection before therapy.

· Do not cut or crush, and ensure that patient does not chew ER tablets.

· Monitor patient for anticipated response.

· Administer without regard to meals; administer with food if GI effects occur.