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General Information
Brand names and manufacturer
Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any

Claribid tab (P. Upjohn)
Claricip tab (Cipla)

Clarithromycin is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Clarithromycin is pronounced as: kla RITH roe MYE sin.

Clarithromycin is an anti-infective / antibacterial drug belonging to macrolide group of antibiotics.

Common uses of clarithromycin

Clarithromycin is used in the treatment of

  • skin and soft tissue infection,
  • infections caused by Mycobacterium avium complex(MAC), 
  • In eradication of H.pylori infections causing Peptic ulcer disease
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Take clarithromycin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do not understand ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Take oral dose of clarithromycin with or without food with 1 glass of water at regular intervals as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better. 
  • You must complete the entire course of medication to get maximum benefit; else the infection will not clear completely and in due course result in development of resistance.
  • Clarithromycin is known to interact with wide variety of drugs. Inform your doctor if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like
    1. Oral anticoagulants (warfarin)
    2. HIV medication( Zidovudine, Ritonivir)
    3. Antifungal( itraconazole,fluconazole)
    4. Immune suppressive drugs( tacrolimus)
    5. Viagra( sildenafil)
    6. Diuretic( furosemide, hydrochlor thiazide )
    7. Anti arrhythmic drugs (amiodarone, quindine, dofetilide )
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as clarithromycin should be used cautiously in the below mentioned conditions
    1. History of QT prolongation
    2. Family history of sudden cardiac death
    3. Liver disease
    4. Renal disease

Do not use Clarithromycin if you are using following prescription drugs as it causes dangerous cardiac arrhythmias( QT prolongation)

  1. Terfenadine (anti histamine)
  2. Astemizole ( anti histamine)
  3. Cisapride ( anti arrhythmic drug)
  4. Ergotamine or ergot alkaloids

Children: Clarithromycin should not be used in children younger than 6 months old.

Old people:

Pregnant woman: Clarithromycin belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that clarithromycin may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: It is not known whether clarithromycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take clarithromycin with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

Clarithromycin is available as capsule, suspension, lotion and injection. Your doctor will prescribe them depending on the severity of the disease.

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

For detailed dosage information, consult your doctor who will prescribe you depending on the severity of the disease.

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

The overdose symptoms of clarithromycin are
  • Nausea vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain

Clarithromycin may causes following side effects like

  • Abnormal taste
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness

Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.

  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes peeling of skin, blistering etc
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Palpitations 
  • Dizziness fainting
  • Severe diarrhoea

Store clarithromycin at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.

  • Antibiotics usually cause mild diarrhoea. Consult your doctor immediately if it is severe, associated with mucus or bloody stools, as it could be sign of new infection or pseudomembranous colitis.
  • Eradiation of H.pylori infection is very important in the management of acid peptic disease. Strictly follow the regime as advised by your doctor.
  • Clarithromycin decreases the effectiveness of combination type of birth pills. Consult your doctor regarding other methods of contraception (e.g. diaphragm, condom, spermicides)

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: November 15, 2011