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Biaxin XL (generically known as Clarithromycin) is an oral medication commonly prescribed to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Clarithromycin belongs to the group of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It works by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause certain infections.
Biaxin XL may also be used to prevent and treat certain infections (mycobacterium avium complex or MAC), associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It can be used to treat respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus infections. Clarithromycin can be used in combination with other medications to kill H. pylori, a bacteria known to cause ulcers in the digestive tract.
Use and Dosage
Biaxin XL (Clarithromycin) is an oral tablet that is taken with food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Swallow the tablets whole and not crush or chew them, as doing so can release all the drug at once and increase the risk of side effects. To ensure the best results, take the tablet at evenly spaced times, and try to take it at the same time every day.
The recommended dosage of Biaxin XL (Clarithromycin) depends on the severity of the medical condition being treated and the patient's response to the treatment. For the treatment of mild to moderate bacterial infections, the recommended dosages of Biaxin XL Filmtab range from 500 mg once daily to 1000 mg once daily. The length of treatment may vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on the specific condition being treated.
Continue taking Biaxin XL until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if your symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a recurrence of the infection.
Common Side Effects of Biaxin XL (Clarithromycin):
- Change in taste
- Stomach pain
- Unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth
Serious Side Effects of Biaxin XL (Clarithromycin):
- Clay-colored stool
- Dark urine
- Diarrhea containing blood
- Fast or pounding heartbeats
- Feeling tired
- Fluttering in your chest
- Little or no urine
- Loss of appetite
- Severe stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
- Spinning sensation
- Sudden dizziness
- Swelling in your feet or ankles
- Upper stomach pain
- Yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)
Forms and Strength
Biaxin XL (Clarithromycin) is available in the following forms and strength:
Biaxin XL: ER Tablet
- Clarithromycin may cause a severe allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, itching, rash, or hives.
- Biaxin XL can cause diarrhea, which could be a sign of a new infection. If you experience diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, you should call your doctor right away.
- Biaxin XL may cause liver problems, including liver failure, which could be life-threatening. Signs of liver problems include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, or loss of appetite.
- Clarithromycin may cause a rare heart problem called prolongation of the QT interval, which could cause an irregular heartbeat and, in some cases, sudden death.
- Biaxin XL may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, statins, benzodiazepines, and some types of antidepressants, and cause serious side effects.
- Clarithromycin may cause changes in the normal bacteria in the colon, which could result in overgrowth of a bacteria called Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) and lead to severe diarrhea and colitis. Symptoms may include abdominal pain or cramping, blood or mucus in stool, nausea, fever, or dehydration.
- Clarithromycin may cause low potassium levels, which could lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramping, irregular heartbeat, or feeling of heaviness in arms and legs.
- Biaxin XL may cause a decrease in blood sugar levels, especially when taken with diabetes medications. Symptoms of low blood sugar include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, shaking, sweating, hunger, or confusion.
- Biaxin XL may cause nervous system side effects, such as headache, dizziness, insomnia, or abnormal taste sensation.
- Clarithromycin may cause hearing loss, especially in patients with pre-existing hearing problems, or in patients who are taking other medications known to cause hearing loss.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Biaxin XL be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Biaxin XL should only be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus or baby. Talk to your doctor before taking this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Can Biaxin XL be taken with food?
Biaxin XL can be taken with or without food. However, taking it with food may help reduce some of the gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea or stomach upset.
How should I store Biaxin XL?
Biaxin XL should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. It should be kept in its original container and away from children.
Can I stop taking Biaxin XL once I start feeling better?
No, complete the full course of treatment prescribed by your doctor, even if you start feeling better before the medication is finished. Stopping the medication too soon may cause the infection to return or develop resistance to the antibiotic.
Can Biaxin XL be crushed or chewed?
No, Biaxin XL should not be crushed or chewed, as it is specifically formulated to release the medication slowly over time. Swallow the tablet whole with water.
It's important to purchase Biaxin XL from verified Canadian pharmacy.