clarithromycin, Biaxin

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

PREPARATIONS: Tablets (immediate or extended release): 250 and 500 mg. Suspension: 125 or 250 mg per 5 ml (teaspoonful).

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Clarithromycin interacts with several drugs because it reduces the activity of liver enzymes that breakdown many drugs. This leads to increased blood levels and side effects from the affected drugs. Examples of such interactions include

Clarithromycin increases blood levels of sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio), tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca), vardenafil (Levitra), theophylline and carbamazepine (Tegretol), thereby increasing side effects of these drugs.

Ritonavir (Norvir) and atazanavir (Reyataz) increase blood levels of clarithromycin while efavirenz (Sustiva), nevirapine (Viramune), rifampin, decrease blood levels of clarithromycin.

Itraconazole (Sporanox) and saquinavir (Invirase) may increase blood levels of clarithromycin while clarithromycin increases blood levels or both drugs.

The occurrence of abnormal heart beats may increase when clarithromycin is combined with drugs that affect heart beat (for example, amiodarone [Coradone], quinidine [Quinidine Gluconate, Quinidine Sulfate], and disopyramide).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/29/2016

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