Generic Name: Telithromycin

  • What is Ketek?

    Ketek is an antibiotic used to treat adults >18 years who have a lung infection called community-acquired pneumonia. This type of pneumonia is caused by certain bacteria.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Ketek?

    Do not take Ketek if you have myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is a rare disease that causes muscle weakness. Patients with myasthenia gravis who have taken Ketek have sometimes experienced life-threatening breathing problems.

    Ketek is not for other types of infections caused by bacteria, and like other antibiotics, Ketek does not kill viruses

    Ketek can cause serious side effects, including severe liver damage. Do not take Ketek if you have ever had side effects of the liver while taking Ketek, or any of the group of antibiotics known as macrolides, such as erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, and dirithromycin. Stop Ketek and call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems, such as dark urine, increased tiredness, itchy skin, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, right upper belly pain or yellowing of the skin and/or eyes. Do not take another dose unless directed by your doctor.

    Pseudomembranous colitis (inflammation of the intestines) can happen with most antibiotics, including Ketek. Call your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away, or bloody stools. You may also have stomach cramps and a fever. Pseudomembranous colitis can happen up to 2 months after you have finished your antibiotic.

    Ketek may cause problems with vision, particularly when looking quickly between objects close by and objects far away. Most vision problems are mild to moderate and occur following the first or second dose. However, severe cases have been reported and vision problems may occur after any dose during treatment. These problems may last several hours and sometimes come back with the next dose. Ketek may cause you to faint, especially if you are also experiencing nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness. If visual difficulties or fainting occur, you should avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in otherwise hazardous activities.

  • Who should not take Ketek?

    Do not take Ketek if you have myasthenia gravis. Also, do not take Ketek if you have had an allergic reaction to, or have had liver-related side effects while taking Ketek, or antibiotics known as macrolides (see What is the most important information I should know about this medication?). Do not use Ketek if you are taking cisapride or pimozide.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Ketek?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Ketek. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have myasthenia gravis; heart problems (including a family history); or if you have low blood potassium or magnesium; heart, liver, or kidney disease; or are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are being treated for heart rhythm disturbances.

  • 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: The usual dosage is 800 milligrams (mg), or 2 tablets, taken 1 time each day for 7-10 days, depending on the type of infection being treated.

  • How should I take Ketek?

    Swallow the tablets whole and may be taken with or without food. To make sure that all bacteria are killed, take all of the medication that was prescribed for you, even if you begin to feel better. You should contact your doctor if your condition is not improving while taking Ketek or if you took too much of the medication.

  • What should I avoid while taking Ketek?

    It is important to avoid taking Ketek with certain other medication (see next section).

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Ketek?

    If Ketek 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 Ketek with the following: atorvastatin, carbamazepine, cisapride, cyclosporine, digoxin, dofetilide, ergot alkaloid derivatives, hexobarbital, itraconazole, ketoconazole, lovastatin, metoprolol, midazolam, oral contraceptives, phenobarbital, phenytoin, pimozide, pravastatin, procainamide, rifampin, rosuvastatin, quinidine, simvastatin, sirolimus, sotalol, tacrolimus, theophylline, triazolam, and warfarin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Ketek?

    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: Diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting

    Ketek has the potential to affect the heart. In rare cases, this may result in an abnormal heartbeat, which may result in a fainting spell. Stop taking Ketek immediately and contact your doctor if you have a fainting spell.

  • Can I receive Ketek if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Ketek during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Ketek?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take more than 1 dose of Ketek in a 24-hour period.

  • How should I store Ketek?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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