What is Clarihexal?
Clarihexal is an antibiotic prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain bacterial infections—including community-acquired pneumonia , throat infections (pharyngitis), acute sinus infections, and others—that are caused by specific types of bacteria. Clarihexal is also FDA-approved to both prevent and treat Mycobacterium avium Complex (MAC) infection , another type of bacterial infection.
Disseminated MAC infection and certain bacterial respiratory diseases (such as community-acquired pneumonia) are opportunistic infections (OIs) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems.
Michael Stewart, Reviewed by Sid Dajani | Last edited 31 May 2017 | Certified by The Information Standard
Clarihexal is a macrolide antibiotic. It can be taken by people who are allergic to penicillin.
It is important to complete the prescribed course (unless you are told to stop). Otherwise your infection could come back.
Any side-effects are usually mild. The most common are diarrhoea, feeling sick (nausea), tummy (abdominal) discomfort, and unusual tastes.
Clarie XL, Klaric >About Clarihexal
BIAXIN is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to Clarihexal, erythromycin, or any of the macrolide antibacterial drugs .
Following administration of fluconazole 200 mg daily and Clarihexal 500 mg twice daily to 21 healthy volunteers, the steady-state Clarihexal Cmin and AUC increased 33% and 18%, respectively. Clarihexal exposures were increased and steady-state concentrations of 14-OH Clarihexal were not significantly affected by concomitant administration of fluconazole.
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What Is Clarihexal (Biaxin)?
Clarihexal is the generic form of the brand-name prescription drug Biaxin, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.
Clarihexal is often used for pneumonia, bronchitis, and infections of the ears, sinuses, skin and throat. It is also used to treat and prevent disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection, which is a type of lung infection that often occurs in patients with HIV.
The drug may also be used in combination with other medicines to eliminate H. pylori - a bacterium that causes ulcers. It is sometimes used to treat other types of infections including Lyme disease, cryptosporidiosis, cat scratch disease, Legionnaires' disease, and pertussis (whooping cough). It is occasionally used to prevent heart infections in people having dental or other procedures.
Clarihexal is in a class of medications known as macrolide antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Like all antibiotics, it cannot kill viruses that cause colds, flu or other viral infections.
Researchers from the Japanese drug company Taisho Pharmaceutical developed Clarihexal in the 1970s. In 1985, Taisho partnered with the American company Abbott Laboratories for the international rights, and Abbott gained FDA approval for Biaxin in October, 1991. The drug went generic in the United States in 2005.
You should continue to take Clarihexal until your prescription is finished, even if you feel better. Stopping this medication too soon or skipping doses can prevent your infection from being treated completely, and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
What are the side effects of Clarihexal?
Clarihexal generally is well tolerated, and side effects usually are mild and transient. Common side effects of Clarihexal are:
Other important side effects which are rare, but serious include:
Clarihexal should be avoided by patients known to be allergic to Clarihexal or other chemically-related macrolide antibiotics, such as erythromycin. Treatment with Clarihexal and other antibiotics can alter the normal bacteria flora of the colon and permit overgrowth of C. difficile, a bacterium responsible for pseudomembranous colitis. Patients who develop pseudomembranous colitis as a result of antibiotics treatment may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and sometimes even shock.
Take Clarihexal for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. This medicine will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to Clarihexal or similar antibiotics, if you have ever had jaundice or liver problems caused by taking this medicine, or if you have liver or kidney disease and are also taking colchicine.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact with Clarihexal, and some drugs should not be used together.
What other drugs will affect Clarihexal?
When you start or stop taking Clarihexal, your doctor may need to adjust the doses of any other medicines you take on a regular basis.
Clarihexal can cause a serious heart problem, especially if you use certain medicines at the same time, such as antibiotics, antifungal medicine, antidepressants, anti-malaria medicine, asthma inhalers, antipsychotic medicine, cancer medicine, certain HIV/AIDS medicine, heart or blood pressure medicine, or medicine to prevent vomiting.
Many drugs can interact with Clarihexal, and some drugs should not be used together. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.
Interactions that increase your risk of side effects
Taking Clarihexal with certain medications may cause more side effects. Examples of these drugs include:
- Benzodiazepines, such as triazolam and midazolam. If you take these drugs together, you may feel more sedated and drowsy.
- Insulin and certain oral diabetes drugs, such as nateglinide, pioglitazone, repaglinide, and rosiglitazone. You may have a significant decrease in your blood sugar levels. You may need to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking these drugs together.
- Warfarin. You may have more bleeding. Your doctor will monitor you closely if you take these drugs together.
- Drugs used to treat cholesterol (statins), such as atorvastatin and pravastatin. Taking these drugs together may cause muscle problems. Your doctor may change the dose of your statin if you need to take these drugs together.
- Quinidine and disopyramide. Taking these drugs together may cause serious abnormal heart rhythms. Your doctor may monitor your heart rhythm and the levels of quinidine or disopyramide in your body.
- Blood pressure drugs (calcium channel blockers), such as verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, and nifedipine. Taking these drugs together may cause a drop in blood pressure and kidney problems.
- Theophylline. Your doctor may monitor your theophylline blood levels.
- Carbamazepine. Your doctor may monitor your carbamazepine blood levels.
- Digoxin. Your doctor may monitor your digoxin blood levels.
- Quetiapine. Taking this drug with Clarihexal may cause sleepiness, low blood pressure upon standing, confusion, and heart rhythm problems. Your doctor should monitor you closely with this combination.
A randomized, double-blind clinical trial (trial 3) compared Clarihexal 500 mg twice a day to placebo in patients with CDC-defined AIDS and CD4 counts less than 100 cells/μL. This trial accrued 682 patients from November 1992 to January 1994, with a median CD4 cell count at entry of 30 cells/mcL. Median duration of BIAXIN was 10.6 months vs. 8.2 months for placebo. More patients in the placebo arm than the BIAXIN arm discontinued prematurely from the trial (75.6% and 67.4%, respectively). However, if premature discontinuations due to Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) or death are excluded, approximately equal percentages of patients on each arm (54.8%) on BIAXIN and 52.5% on placebo) discontinued study drug early for other reasons. The trial was designed to evaluate the following endpoints:
In patients randomized to BIAXIN, the risk of MAC bacteremia was reduced by 69% compared to placebo. The difference between groups was statistically significant (p
Table 13: Mortality Rates at 18 months in Trial 3
Clinically Significant Disseminated MAC Disease
In association with the decreased incidence of MAC bacteremia, patients in the group randomized to BIAXIN showed reductions in the signs and symptoms of disseminated MAC disease, including fever, night sweats, weight loss, and anemia.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Some people develop thrush (redness and itchiness in the mouth or vagina) after taking a course of antibiotics. If this happens to you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice about how to treat it.
- This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.
- If you are taking a 'statin' medicine for high cholesterol your doctor may advise you to stop taking the statin whilst being treated with Clarihexal. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking Clarihexal.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with this antibiotic.
- If you still feel unwell after completing your course of the antibiotic, make another appointment to see your doctor.
Clarihexal should not be used in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate. If BIAXIN is used during pregnancy, or if pregnancy occurs while the patient is taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Clarihexal has demonstrated adverse effects on pregnancy outcome and/or embryo-fetal development in monkeys, rats, mice, and rabbits at doses that produced plasma levels 2 times to 17 times the serum levels achieved in humans treated at the maximum recommended human doses .
COMMON BRAND(S): Biaxin
GENERIC NAME(S): Clarihexal
Clarihexal is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medication can also be used in combination with anti-ulcer medications to treat certain types of stomach ulcers. It may also be used to prevent certain bacterial infections. Clarihexal is known as a macrolide antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Clarihexal only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2019 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 21.01.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Liver problems. Symptoms can include:
- tiredness or weakness
- loss of appetite
- upper stomach pain
- dark-colored urine
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
- fast or chaotic heartbeats
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
- Liver problems warning: This drug may cause liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of liver problems. These include dark-colored urine, itchiness, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
- QT prolongation warning: Clarihexal may cause the heart rhythm problem QT prolongation. This condition may cause fast, chaotic heartbeats.
- Diarrhea warning: Almost all antibiotics, including Clarihexal, can cause Clostr >
Clarihexal oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Biaxin. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.
Clarihexal oral tablet comes in an immediate-release release form and an extended-release form. Clarihexal also comes as an oral suspension.
Dictionary Entries near Clarihexal
Cite this Entry
“Clarihexal.” The Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/Clarihexal. Accessed 27 December 2019.
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How to store Clarihexal
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- If you have been given liqu >
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
1. About Clarihexal
Clarihexal is an antibiotic.
It's used to treat chest infections, such as pneumonia, skin problems such as cellulitis, and ear infections.
It's also used to get rid of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers.
Clarihexal is sometimes used by people who have an allergy to penicillin and antibiotics similar to penicillin, like amoxicillin.
Clarihexal is only available on prescription.
It comes as tablets, granules, or a liquid that you drink.
It can also be given by injection, but this is usually only done in hospital.