To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of clarithromycin extended-release tablets and other antibacterial drugs, clarithromycin extended-release tablets should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria.
When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy.In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF CLARITHROMYCIN EXTENDED-RELEASE TABLETS IN TREATING OTHER INFECTIONS FOR WHICH OTHER FORMULATIONS OF CLARITHROMYCIN ARE APPROVED HAVE NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED.
Clarithromycin is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to clarithromycin, erythromycin, or any of the macrolide antibiotics.Concomitant administration of clarithromycin and any of the following drugs is contraindicated: cisapride, pimozide, astemizole, terfenadine, and ergotamine or dihydroergotamine (see Drug Interactions).
There have been postmarketing reports of drug interactions when clarithromycin and/or erythromycin are coadministered with cisapride, pimozide, astemizole, or terfenadine resulting in cardiac arrhythmias (QT prolongation, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and torsades de pointes) most likely due to the inhibition of metabolism of these drugs by erythromycin and clarithromycin.Fatalities have been reported.For information about contraindications of other drugs indicated in combination with clarithromycin, refer to the CONTRAINDICATIONS section of their package inserts.
CLARITHROMYCIN SHOULD NOT BE USED IN PREGNANT WOMEN EXCEPT IN CLINICAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NO ALTERNATIVE THERAPY IS APPROPRIATE.
IF PREGNANCY OCCURS WHILE TAKING THIS DRUG, THE PATIENT SHOULD BE APPRISED OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARD TO THE FETUS.
CLARITHROMYCIN HAS DEMONSTRATED ADVERSE EFFECTS OF PREGNANCY OUTCOME AND/OR EMBRYO-FETAL DEVELOPMENT IN MONKEYS, RATS, MICE, AND RABBITS AT DOSES THAT PRODUCED PLASMA LEVELS 2 TO 17 TIMES THE SERUM LEVELS ACHIEVED IN HUMANS TREATED AT THE MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED HUMAN DOSES.
(See PRECAUTIONS - Pregnancy.)Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including clarithromycin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis.
Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C.
difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD.
Hypertoxin producing strains of C.
difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy.
CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use.
Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C.
difficile may need to be discontinued.
Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C.
difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.There have been post-marketing reports of colchicine toxicity with concomitant use of clarithromycin and colchicine, especially in the elderly, some of which occurred in patients with renal insufficiency.
Deaths have been reported in some such patients.(See PRECAUTIONS.)For information about warnings of other drugs indicated in combination with clarithromycin, refer to the WARNINGS section of their package inserts.