Is Biaxin Clarithromycin Effective in the Treatment of Infections?


Biaxin contains an active ingredient called Clarithromycin. It belongs to the class of antibiotics called macrolides.

Biaxin Clarithromycin is a semisynthetic macrolide antibiotic. It acts by inhibiting the synthesis of proteins in the bacterial cell, leading to the absence of major proteins and abruption of normal cellular functions. Although it usually acts as a bacteriostatic, it can also exhibit a bactericidal effect. Clarithromycin works against following microorganisms:

  • Gram-positive bacteria:
    • Streptococci.
    • Staphylococci.
    • Listeria monocytogenes.
    • Corynebacterium spp.
  • Gram-negative bacteria:
    • Haemophilus influenza.
    • Moraxella catarrhalis.
    • Bordetella pertussis.
    • Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
    • Neisseria meningitides.
    • Borrelia burgdorferi.
    • Pasteurella multocida.
    • Campylobacter spp.
    • Helicobacter pylori.
  • Anaerobic microorganisms:
    • Eubacterium spp.
    • Peptococcus spp.
    • Propionibacterium spp.
    • Clostridium perfrigens.
    • Bacteroides melaninogenicus.
  • Intracellular microorganisms:
    • Mycoplasma pneumonia.
    • Legionella pneumophila.
    • Chlamydia trachomatis.
    • Chlamydia pneumonia.
    • Ureaplasma urealyticum.
    • Toxoplasma gondii.


The spectrum of the action of Biaxin Clarithromycin is identical to erythromycin, but this drug works on atypical mycobacteria. The percentage of cross-resistance to erythromycin and this medicine is high.

Is Biaxin Clarithromycin Effective in the Treatment of Infections?

Biaxin Clarithromycin and its metabolites are twice as active as erythromycin in the treatment of Haemophilus influenzae, and they are also effective against Micobacterium avium-intercellulare, and can be very useful in the treatment of leprosy as well as for eradication of Helicobacter pylori. The drug is also effective in the treatment of Lyme disease.

The medicament is used in the treatment of the following infections:

  • Conjunctivitis in newborns and pneumonia in children
  • Infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissue
  • Uncomplicated urogenital infections
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Listeriosis (food poisoning)
  • Legionary disease
  • Severe acne
  • Diphtheria


Biaxin should not be used in patients who are allergic to Clarithromycin or other macrolide antibiotics (such as Erythromycin and Azithromycin).

The use of Biaxin Clarithromycin is contraindicated in patients who are using Ergotamine, Dihydroergotamine, or other ergot alkaloids used in the treatment of migraine as recommended by Biaxin increases the concentration of these drugs in the blood, which increases the vasoconstrictive effect of ergot alkaloids and therefore increases the risk of high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, stroke, or gangrene of the arm or leg.

Concomitant administration of Biaxin with the following drugs is also contraindicated:

  • Newer antihistamines, such as Terfenadine and Astemizole (these drugs are no longer available in the US market). The concomitant administration with these medicines increases the risk of severe arrhythmias called torsade de pointes. These arrhythmias can endanger the life of a patient.
  • Cisapride – a drug used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Biaxin increases the concentration of this drug in the blood, which increases the risk of Cisapride’s adverse effects of, such as dizziness, fainting, palpitations, and arrhythmias.
  • Drugs used in the treatment of high cholesterol levels, so-called statins, such as Lovastatin, Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Rosuvastatin, and Fluvastatin. Biaxin inhibits the enzyme through which statins are metabolized, resulting in increased levels of statins in the blood. An increase in the levels of statins in the blood can cause liver damage or a serious muscle disorder called rhabdomyolysis.

In addition, Biaxin Clarithromycin should not be used in patients who have low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalaemia), impaired liver function, kidney damage, or cardiac problems.

There is no information on the effects of Biaxin on driving or operating machinery. If you notice side effects, such as dizziness, vertigo, confusion and disorientation, you must consult your doctor before you drive or operate machinery.

Is Biaxin Clarithromycin Effective in the Treatment of Infections?


Biaxin Clarithromycin exists in the form of regular film tablets (Biaxin Filmtab), in the form of granules used to prepare syrup, as well as extended release tablets (Biaxin XL Filmtab).

Biaxin Filmtab and Biaxin granules can be administered regardless of meals, while the drug extended release tablets should be taken with a meal.

The recommended doses:

  • in the treatment of acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis is 250-500mg twice a day for 7-14 days.
  • in the treatment of tonsillitis and pharyngitis is 250mg twice a day for 10 days.
  • in the treatment of uncomplicated infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissue is 250mg twice a day for 7-14 days.
  • for eradication of Helicobacter Pylori in combination with Amoxicillin and proton pump inhibitors is 500mg twice a day for 10-14 days.

The recommended dosage for children is 15mg/kg daily (divided into at least two equal doses). Biaxin granules should be used in children.

The dose should be adjusted based on the severity of the infection and the general condition of the patient. The dosage should be reduced by at least 50% in patients with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance less than 30 ml/min).

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The safety of the Biaxin Clarithromycin use during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. Based on various data obtained from studies conducted in mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys, the possibility of various adverse effects on embryo-fetal development cannot be excluded. Therefore, taking this drug during pregnancy is not recommended without prior careful consideration of the benefit/risk ratio.

Biaxin Clarithromycin is excreted into the breast milk and should be avoided during breastfeeding.

Side Effects

Biaxin Clarithromycin can cause the following side effects:

  • Cellulitis
  • Candidiasis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Vaginal infections
  • Decrease in the number of leukocytes and neutrocytes in the blood
  • Anorexia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Taste perversion
  • Somnolence
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing impairment, including loss of hearing
  • Tinnitus
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Stomatitis
  • Flatulence
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Liver damage (hepatitis)
  • Dermatitis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fever
  • Pain in the chest
  • Kidney failure
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Asthma
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Nightmares
  • Change in the color of your teeth
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Allergic reactions

Tell your doctor if you notice any side effects.

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