What Is Clarithromycin Used For?

Clarithromycin is used for treating a number of common bacterial infections in both children and adults. Some of these infections include strep throat, sinus infections, and pneumonia. This prescription medication is also used to treat and prevent a serious infection that can occur in people with AIDS. Off-label uses include treating other types of infections that are susceptible to clarithromycin.

An Overview of Clarithromycin Uses

Clarithromycin (Biaxin®) is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of different infections. The regular, short-acting tablets and the oral suspension are approved for treating the following infections:
 
  • In adults:
 
    • Strep throat
    • Tonsillitis
    • Sinus infections
    • Bronchitis
    • Pneumonia
    • Skin infections
    • Mycobacterium avium complex (an infection that usually occurs in people with AIDS), for both treatment and prevention
    • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in people with duodenal ulcers (intestinal ulcers), when used in combination with other medications 
 
  • In children:
 
    • Strep throat
    • Tonsillitis
    • Sinus infections
    • Pneumonia
    • Ear infections
    • Mycobacterium avium complex (an infection that usually occurs in people with AIDS), for both treatment and prevention.
 
The long-acting clarithromycin tablets are approved to treat the following infections in adults:
 
  • Sinus infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia.
     
Clarithromycin is approved for treating all these infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to the drug. Even among the types of bacteria that do respond to it, some strains may have become resistant and may have different resistance patterns in different regions of the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to clarithromycin in certain parts of the country but not in others.
 
It is important to remember that clarithromycin is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu.
 
In some situations, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to see if your particular infection is susceptible or resistant to clarithromycin. In other situations, your healthcare provider may decide to try the medication without such tests.
 
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Clarithromycin Antibiotic Information

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