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Back to Infections Drug Index

Back to Macrolides

Clarithromycin hydrochloride

Biaxin Filmtabs

Pregnancy Category C

Drug classes


Mechanism of action
Inhibits protein synthesis in susceptible bacteria, causing cell death.


  • Treatment of upper respiratory infections caused by S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae
  • Treatment of lower respiratory infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, M. catarrhalis
  • Treatment of skin and structure infections caused by S. aureus, S. pyogenes


  • Contraindicated in the presences of hypersensitivity to clarithromycin, erythromycin, or any macrolide antibiotic.

Use caution in the presence of colitis, hepatic or renal impairment, pregnancy, lactation.

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Adverse effects 

  • CNS: Dizziness, headache, vertigo, somnolence, fatigue
  • GI: Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, melena, pseudomembranous colitis
  • Other: Superinfections

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