Biaxin Medication Information:

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Generic is available for less money: Generic Clarithromycin

Biaxin medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Biaxin 500 mg
Biaxin XL 500 mg

About Biaxin

What Biaxin is used for

BIAXIN is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia, otitis, and infections of the skin and throat (pharyngitis).

It can also be prescribed to combat mycobacterial infections. Mycobacteria are a group of bacteria that cause several diseases.

What Biaxin does

BIAXIN is an antibiotic that kills bacteria in the body.

When Biaxin should not be used

Do not take/give BIAXIN if you/your child have ever had an allergic reaction to it, or if you/your child are sensitive to it or erythromycin, or other antibacterial agents of the same family or to any ingredient in the formulation (see What the important nonmedicinal ingredients are:).

Do not take/give BIAXIN if you/your child are taking astemizole{*No longer marketed in Canada.}, cisapride*, pimozide, terfenadine*, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine. These medicines can interact, possibly leading to a irregular heartbeat pattern; deaths have occurred.

What the medicinal ingredient is

The medicinal ingredient is clarithromycin.

What the important nonmedicinal ingredients for Biaxin are

The nonmedicinal ingredients are the following: carbopol, povidone, polymer, sucrose or sugar, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, silicon dioxide, potassium sorbate, citric acid, artificial and natural fruit flavour, castor oil, and titanium dioxide.

What dosage forms Biaxin comes in

This medicine comes in:

  • liquid forms (BIAXIN, 125 mg/5 mL and 250 mg/5 mL),

  • extended-release tablets (BIAXIN XL, 500 mg),

  • regular tablets (BIAXIN BID, 250 mg and 500 mg).

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

BIAXIN should not be used in pregnancy unless advised by your doctor due to potential hazards to the fetus. Do not take BIAXIN without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Before taking BIAXIN, tell your doctor if you/your child have liver or kidney disease. You/your child may not be able to take clarithromycin, or you/your child may require a lower dose and special monitoring during therapy. Talk to your doctor if BIAXIN gives you/your child prolonged and severe diarrhea.

The development of antibiotic resistance has been seen in patients with HIV receiving clarithromycin. To avoid failure of the treatment with a potential for developing antimicrobial resistance and a risk of failure with subsequent therapy, you/your child should follow closely the prescribed regimen.

BEFORE you/your child use BIAXIN talk to your doctor or pharmacist

  • about all health problems you/your child have now or have had in the past;

  • about all other medicines you/your child are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products (see Interactions with This Medication:);

  • if you/your child have or develop severe diarrhea as this may be a sign of a more serious condition;

  • if you/your child have kidney problems;

  • if you/your child have liver problems;

  • if you/your child are taking astemizole, terfenadine, cisapride, pimozide, ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, digoxin, or colchicine.

  • if you/your child have any unusual or allergic reaction (rash, difficulty breathing) to clarithromycin or any of the nonmedicinal ingredients in BIAXIN (see “What the important nonmedicinal ingredients are:”), other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives;

  • if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breast-feeding because clarithromycin has been detected in human breast milk.

WHILE taking BIAXIN, contact your doctor if

  • You develop symptoms of myasthenia gravis or the symptoms of your existing myasthenia gravis worsen. These symptoms could include muscle weakness that gets worse with activity and gets better with rest, drooping eyelid, blurred or double vision, difficulty chewing and swallowing, or trouble breathing.

Interactions with Biaxin

Drugs that may interact with BIAXIN include

Alfentanil, alprazolam, astemizole/terfenadine, atazanavir, atorvastatin, bromocriptine, carbamazepine, cilostazol, cisapride/pimozide, colchicine, cyclosporine, digoxin, disopyramide/quinidine, efavirenz, ergotamine/dihydroergotamine, fluconazole, hexobarbital, itraconazole, lansoprazole/omeprazole, lovastatin/simvastatin, methylprednisolone, midazolam/triazolam, nevirapine, phenytoin, rifabutin/rifampin, rifapentine{†Not marketed in Canada.}, ritonavir/indinavir, saquinavir, sildenafil, tacrolimus, tadalafil, theophylline, tolterodine, valproic acid, vardenafil, verapamil, vinblastine, warfarin/acenocoumarol, zidovudine and drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 system.

Proper Use of Biaxin

Usual dose

BIAXIN may be taken with or without food.

The recommended daily dosage of BIAXIN is 15 mg/kg/day, in divided doses every 12 hours, not to exceed 1000 mg/day. The usual duration of treatment is for 5 to 10 days. Please ask your pharmacist to prepare BIAXIN in liquid form.


Contact your doctor, pharmacist or local poison control centre if you/your child have taken more than the recommended dose. Symptoms of BIAXIN overdose are abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Missed dose

If you/your child miss a dose of BIAXIN, take/give to your child the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your/your child’s next dose, wait and take/give to your child the next dose at the regular time. Do not take/give to your child double or extra doses.

Side Effects for Biaxin and What to Do About Them

Like all medicines, BIAXIN can cause side effects. The majority of side effects observed in clinical trials with BIAXIN were of a mild and transient nature.

The following adverse reactions were reported during the clinical studies with clarithromycin, the medicinal ingredient (occurring between 1% and 10% in clinical trials) or during post-marketing surveillance: abdominal pain, abnormal taste, diarrhea, ear disorder, flatulence, indigestion, headache, nausea, rash, vomiting. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if any of these side effects persist or become bothersome.

Serious side effects from BIAXIN are not common.

Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them
Symptom/Effect Talk with your doctor or pharmacist Stop taking drug and call your doctor or pharmacist
Only if severe In all cases
Uncommon Allergic reactionsa    
Severe diarrhea    
Severe abdominal cramps    
Irregular heart beat    
a. Allergic reactions, with symptoms such as itching, skin eruptions, rash, sore throat, fever, swelling, skin rash, itchiness, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness/dizziness.

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking BIAXIN , contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Technical Information