What is Biaxin?Biaxin is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including strep throat, pneumonia, sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils), acute middle ear infections, acute flare-ups of chronic bronchitis, and skin infections in adults.
Biaxin can also be combined with other medications to treat duodenal ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria in adults.
In children, Biaxin tablets and granules (for oral suspension) are used to treat bacterial infections, including sore throat and tonsillitis, pneumonia, acute middle ear infections, and skin infections.
Biaxin is also used to prevent Mycobacterium avium complex (a number of bacterial infections that are usually associated with HIV, also known as MAC) disease in people with advanced HIV infection.
What is the most important information I should know about Biaxin?You should not use Biaxin if you are pregnant, except in circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate as determined by your doctor. Biaxin can cause harm to your unborn child.
Biaxin commonly causes diarrhea, which usually ends when Biaxin is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with Biaxin, you may get watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps or fever) even as late as 2 or more months after taking the last dose of Biaxin. If this happens, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Biaxin does not treat viral infections such as the common cold. Although you may feel better soon after starting treatment, it is important to take Biaxin exactly as directed for the full course of treatment. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of Biaxin treatment may decrease the effectiveness of Biaxin and may lead to the bacteria developing resistance so that it may not be treatable by Biaxin or other antibiotics in the future.
Biaxin can cause myasthenia gravis, a condition that causes muscle weakness. If you have myasthenia gravis or feel weakness in your muscles, tell your doctor.
Who should not take Biaxin?Do not use Biaxin if you are allergic to Biaxin, erythromycin, or any of the macrolide antibiotics. Do not take Biaxin if you are also taking astemizole, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, pimozide, or terfenadine.
If you have severe kidney problems or have a history of acute porphyria (agenetic disease that causes intermittent attachs of stomach pain and neurological symptoms; neurological symptoms affect the brain, nerves, and spine), do not take Biaxin as a combination treatment with ranitidine.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Biaxin?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Biaxin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have or had severe kidney disease, diarrhea caused by an organism called Clostridium-difficile, liver or kidney problems, myasthenia gravis, abnormal heart rhythm (such as QT prolongation or increased heart rate), porphyria, have used antibiotics, or if you are or may be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose of Biaxin for you depending on the combination of other drugs that will be prescribed to treat your ulcer.
Ear, Sinus, Skin, Respiratory, Throat, and Tonsil Infections
Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose of Biaxin depending on the type of infection and organism causing it.
The usual dose of Biaxin varies from 250-500 milligrams (mg) given every 12 hours for 7 or 14 days.
Children: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on their weight. Biaxin is not recommended for children under 6 months of age.
Prevention or Treatment of Mycobacterium Avium Infection
Adults: The recommended dose of Biaxin is 500 mg given twice a day.
Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose or dosing frequency of Biaxin if you have kidney problems.
Children: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on their weight.
How should I take Biaxin?Biaxin tablets and Biaxin granules for oral suspension can be taken with or without food.
For Biaxin oral suspension, shake well before each use.
What should I avoid while taking Biaxin?Do not take astemizole, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, pimozide, or terfenadine if you are taking Biaxin. Taking these drugs with Biaxin can lead to an irregular heart rhythm.
Avoid skipping doses or not completing the full course of Biaxin treatment.
Avoid becoming pregnant or breastfeeding while taking Biaxin.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Biaxin?If Biaxin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Biaxin with the following: alfentanil, alprazolam, atazanavir, oral blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin, bromocriptine, carbamazepine, cholesterol-lowering drugs such as lovastatin or simvastatin, cilostazol, colchicine, cyclosporine, digoxin, disopyramide, efavirenz, ergot-based migraine drugs, fluconazole, hexobarbital, itraconazole, methylprednisolone, midazolam, nevirapine, phenytoin, pimozide, quinidine, ranitidine, rifabutin, rifampicin, rifapentine, ritonavir, saquinavir, sildenafil, tacrolimus, tadalafil, terfenadine, theophylline, tolterodine, triazolam, valproate, vardenafil, verapamil, vinblastine, and zidovudine.
In addition, tell your doctor if you take medicines for any of the following: your immune system, cholesterol, infections, heart failure, seizures, diabetes, heartburn, or stomach ulcers.
What are the possible side effects of Biaxin?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: myasthenia gravis (exacerbation or new onset of symptoms), muscle weakness, skin reactions (rash and hives), trouble breathing, abnormal heart rhythm (such as QT prolongation), liver problems, rise in liver enzymes, colchicine toxicity if taken with colchicine (symptoms include muscle weakness or pain, numb or tingling fingers or toes), kidney problems, blood disorders (such as anemia, decreased white blood cell count), low blood sugar, Clostridium-difficile associated diarrhea, agitation, behavioral changes, diarrhea or loose stools, nausea, stomach upset, abdominal pain or discomfort, headache, vomiting, discolored teeth (brown, yellow, or gray staining), abnormal taste
Can I receive Biaxin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Biaxin should not be used in pregnant women, except in circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate as decided by your doctor. Biaxin may cause harm to your unborn child. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you are or may be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Biaxin?If you miss a dose of Biaxin, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Biaxin?Store Biaxin at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from light. Do not refrigerate the suspension.
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