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What is Biaxin

Biaxin is in a class of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Biaxin fights bacteria in your body.

Biaxin is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, tonsillitis, skin infections, and stomach ulcers caused by bacteria.

Biaxin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Biaxin

Take all of the Biaxin that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

Do not take Biaxin if you are taking cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), or terfenadine (Seldane). These medicines can interact, possibly leading to a dangerous irregular heartbeat pattern.

Who should not take Biaxin

Do not take Biaxin if you are taking cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), or terfenadine (Seldane). These medicines can interact, possibly leading to a dangerous irregular heartbeat pattern.

Before taking Biaxin, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease. You may not be able to take Biaxin, or you may require a lower dose and special monitoring during therapy.

Biaxin is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Biaxin will harm an unborn baby. Do not take Biaxin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether Biaxin passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Biaxin

Take Biaxin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Biaxin can be taken with food or milk or on an empty stomach.

Take extended release Biaxin (Biaxin XL) with food.

Biaxin is usually taken two times a day with the doses about 12 hours apart. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Shake the suspension well before measuring each dose. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the suspension with a dose-measuring dropper, cup, or spoon, not a regular tablespoon. Ask your pharmacist for a dose-measuring device if you do not have one.

Take all of the Biaxin that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not refrigerate the suspension.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an Biaxin overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

Avoid while taking Biaxin

Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Biaxin may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Possible side effects of Biaxin

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Biaxin and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives), or
- liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Biaxin and talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain;
- dizziness, fatigue, or headache;
- vaginal yeast infection;
- a rash; or
- increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Biaxin

Biaxin may cause dangerous side effects when taken with the following drugs:
- antihistamines such as terfenadine (Seldane) and astemizole (Hismanal). These drugs should not be taken with Biaxin. The combination can cause your heart to beat irregularly.
- seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene). These drugs may or may not be affected. Since these drugs are so important, your doctor may want to perform some special blood-monitoring tests.
- asthma medications such as theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair, Theochron, others). Biaxin may increase levels of these drugs in your blood, and you may need a dosage adjustment.
- anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin). These medications may have an increased effect, which could lead to bleeding. Your doctor may want to monitor your blood clotting.
- heart medications for irregular heartbeats, such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and disopyramide (Norpace). These drugs may also have an increased effect. Your doctor may want to monitor your blood levels more closely.
- other antibiotics. Do not use other antibiotics unless they are prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take Biaxin without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Biaxin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

All prescription drugs:

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