The prescription antibiotic Biaxin is used for the treatment of various infections. It is also used to prevent a serious bacterial infection that can develop in people who have advanced forms of AIDS. By decreasing bacteria's ability to make protein, Biaxin can help stop bacteria from growing and multiplying. Possible side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion.
What Is Biaxin?Biaxin® (clarithromycin) is a prescription antibiotic approved to treat a variety of different infections. It is also approved to prevent Mycobacterium avium, a complex disease (a serious bacterial infection) that can develop in people who have advanced AIDS. Biaxin XL is a long-acting form of the drug.
(Click Biaxin Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does It Work?Biaxin belongs to a group of medications known as macrolides. It works by binding to bacterial ribosomes, which are protein "factories" inside bacteria. By binding to these ribosomes, Biaxin interferes with the production of proteins, inhibiting bacterial growth and multiplication.
When and How to Take BiaxinSome general considerations for those taking Biaxin include the following:
- The medication comes as regular (immediate-release) tablets, extended-release tablets (Biaxin XL), and an oral suspension (a liquid).
- The regular tablets and oral suspension are usually taken twice a day (sometimes three times a day for certain infections). The extended-release form is taken just once a day.
- Make sure to shake the oral suspension well before each dose.
- You can take the tablets or oral suspension with food or on an empty stomach. However, Biaxin XL tablets must be taken with food, as they may not work as well if you take them on an empty stomach.
- The medication can be taken at any time of the day; however, make sure to take it at the same time(s) each day, every 12 hours (if you take it twice daily) or every 24 hours (if you take it once daily).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Biaxin will not work if you stop taking it too soon.