Clarithromycin (Page 6 of 9)

8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category C

Clarithromycin should not be used in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate. If pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Four teratogenicity studies in rats (three with oral doses and one with intravenous doses up to 160 mg/kg/day administered during the period of major organogenesis) and two in rabbits at oral doses up to 125 mg/kg/day (approximately twice the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m2) or intravenous doses of 30 mg/kg/day administered during gestation days 6 to 18 failed to demonstrate any teratogenicity from clarithromycin. Two additional oral studies in a different rat strain at similar doses and similar conditions demonstrated a low incidence of cardiovascular anomalies at doses of 150 mg/kg/day administered during gestation days 6 to 15. Plasma levels after 150 mg/kg/day were twice the human serum levels. Four studies in mice revealed a variable incidence of cleft palate following oral doses of 1000 mg/kg/day (2 and 4 times the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m2 , respectively) during gestation days 6 to 15. Cleft palate was also seen at 500 mg/kg/day. The 1000 mg/kg/day exposure resulted in plasma levels 17 times the human serum levels. In monkeys, an oral dose of 70 mg/kg/day produced fetal growth retardation at plasma levels that were twice the human serum levels.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Caution should be exercised when clarithromycin is administered to nursing women. The development and health benefits of human milk feeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for clarithromycin and any potential adverse effects on the human milk fed child from the drug or from the underlying maternal condition.

Clarithromycin and its active metabolite 14-hydroxy clarithromycin are excreted in human milk. Serum and milk samples were obtained after 3 days of treatment, at steady state, from one published study of 12 lactating women who were taking clarithromycin 250 mg orally twice daily. Based on the limited data from this study, and assuming milk consumption of 150 mL/kg/day, an exclusively human milk fed infant would receive an estimated average of 136 mcg/kg/day of clarithromycin and its active metabolite, with this maternal dosage regimen. This is less than 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose (7.8 mg/kg/day, based on the average maternal weight of 64 kg), and less than 1% of the pediatric dose (15 mg/kg/day) for children greater than 6 months of age.

A prospective observational study of 55 breastfed infants of mothers taking a macrolide antibacterial (6 were exposed to clarithromycin) were compared to 36 breastfed infants of mothers taking amoxicillin. Adverse reactions were comparable in both groups. Adverse reactions occurred in 12.7% of infants exposed to macrolides and included rash, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and somnolence.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of clarithromycin tablets have been established for the treatment of the following conditions or diseases in pediatric patients 6 months and older. Use in these indications is based on clinical trials in pediatric patients or adequate and well-controlled studies in adults with additional pharmacokinetic and safety data in pediatric patients:

  • Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis
  • Community-Acquired Pneumonia
  • Acute maxillary sinusitis
  • Acute otitis media [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]
  • Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections

The safety and effectiveness of clarithromycin tablets have been established for the prevention of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease in pediatric patients 20 months and older with advanced HIV infection. No studies of clarithromycin tablets for MAC prophylaxis have been performed in pediatric populations and the doses recommended for prophylaxis are derived from MAC pediatric treatment studies.

Safety and effectiveness of clarithromycin tablets in pediatric patients under 6 months of age have not been established. The safety of clarithromycin tablets has not been studied in MAC patients under the age of 20 months.

8.5 Geriatric Use

In a steady-state study in which healthy elderly subjects (65 years to 81 years of age) were given 500 mg of clarithromycin tablets every 12 hours, the maximum serum concentrations and area under the curves of clarithromycin and 14-OH clarithromycin were increased compared to those achieved in healthy young adults. These changes in pharmacokinetics parallel known age-related decreases in renal function. In clinical trials, elderly patients did not have an increased incidence of adverse reactions when compared to younger patients. Consider dosage adjustment in elderly patients with severe renal impairment. Elderly patients may be more susceptible to development of torsades de pointes arrhythmias than younger patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Most reports of acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine) involved elderly patients 65 years of age or older [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Especially in elderly patients, there have been reports of colchicine toxicity with concomitant use of clarithromycin and colchicine, some of which occurred in patients with renal insufficiency. Deaths have been reported in some patients [see Contraindications (4.4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

8.6 Renal and Hepatic Impairment

Clarithromycin is principally excreted via the liver and kidney. Clarithromycin may be administered without dosage adjustment to patients with hepatic impairment and normal renal function. However, in the presence of severe renal impairment with or without coexisting hepatic impairment, decreased dosage or prolonged dosing intervals may be appropriate [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)].

10 OVERDOSAGE

Overdosage of clarithromycin can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Treat adverse reactions accompanying overdosage by the prompt elimination of unabsorbed drug and supportive measures. As with other macrolides, clarithromycin serum concentrations are not expected to be appreciably affected by hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

11 DESCRIPTION

Clarithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antimicrobial for oral use. Chemically, it is 6-0 -methylerythromycin. The molecular formula is C38 H69 NO13 , and the molecular weight is 747.96. The structural formula is:

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Figure 1: Structure of Clarithromycin

Clarithromycin is a white to off-white crystalline powder. It is soluble in acetone, slightly soluble in methanol, ethanol, and acetonitrile, and practically insoluble in water.

Clarithromycin tablets, USP are available as immediate-release tablets.

Each white oval film-coated immediate-release clarithromycin tablet, USP contains 250 mg or 500 mg of clarithromycin and the following inactive ingredients:

250 mg tablets: microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, colloidal silicon dioxide, talc, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, and polyethylene glycol.

500 mg tablets: microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, colloidal silicon dioxide, talc, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, and polyethylene glycol.

12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

12.1 Mechanism of Action

Clarithromycin is a macrolide antimicrobial drug [see Microbiology (12.4)].

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Clarithromycin Immediate-Release Tablets

The absolute bioavailability of 250 mg clarithromycin tablets was approximately 50%. For a single 500 mg dose of clarithromycin, food slightly delays the onset of clarithromycin absorption, increasing the peak time from approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. Food also increases the clarithromycin peak plasma concentration by about 24%, but does not affect the extent of clarithromycin bioavailability. Food does not affect the onset of formation of the active metabolite, 14-OH clarithromycin or its peak plasma concentration but does slightly decrease the extent of metabolite formation, indicated by an 11% decrease in area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC). Therefore, clarithromycin tablets may be given without regard to food. In non-fasting healthy human subjects (males and females), peak plasma concentrations were attained within 2 to 3 hours after oral dosing.

Distribution

Clarithromycin and the 14-OH clarithromycin metabolite distribute readily into body tissues and fluids. There are no data available on cerebrospinal fluid penetration. Because of high intracellular concentrations, tissue concentrations are higher than serum concentrations. Examples of tissue and serum concentrations are presented below.

Table 9. Tissue and Serum Concentrations of Clarithromycin
CONCENTRATION (after 250 mg every 12 hours)
Tissue Type Tissue (mcg/g) Serum (mcg/mL)
Tonsil 1.6 0.8
Lung 8.8 1.7

Metabolism and Elimination

Clarithromycin Immediate-Release Tablets

Steady-state peak plasma clarithromycin concentrations were attained within 3 days and were approximately 1 mcg/mL to 2 mcg/mL with a 250 mg dose administered every 12 hours and 3 mcg/mL to 4 mcg/mL with a 500 mg dose administered every 8 hours to 12 hours. The elimination half-life of clarithromycin was about 3 hours to 4 hours with 250 mg administered every 12 hours but increased to 5 hours to 7 hours with 500 mg administered every 8 hours to 12 hours. The nonlinearity of clarithromycin pharmacokinetics is slight at the recommended doses of 250 mg and 500 mg administered every 8 hours to 12 hours. With a 250 mg every 12 hours dosing, the principal metabolite, 14-OH clarithromycin, attains a peak steady-state concentration of about 0.6 mcg/mL and has an elimination half-life of 5 hours to 6 hours. With a 500 mg every 8 hours to 12 hours dosing, the peak steady-state concentration of 14-OH clarithromycin is slightly higher (up to 1 mcg/mL), and its elimination half-life is about 7 hours to 9 hours. With any of these dosing regimens, the steady-state concentration of this metabolite is generally attained within 3 days to 4 days.

After a 250 mg tablet every 12 hours, approximately 20% of the dose is excreted in the urine as clarithromycin, while after a 500 mg tablet every 12 hours, the urinary excretion of clarithromycin is somewhat greater, approximately 30%. In comparison, after an oral dose of 250 mg (125 mg/5 mL) suspension every 12 hours, approximately 40% is excreted in urine as clarithromycin. The renal clearance of clarithromycin is, however, relatively independent of the dose size and approximates the normal glomerular filtration rate. The major metabolite found in urine is 14-OH clarithromycin, which accounts for an additional 10% to 15% of the dose with either a 250 mg or a 500 mg tablet administered every 12 hours.

Specific Populations for Clarithromycin Tablets

Clarithromycin penetrates into the middle ear fluid of pediatric patients with secretory otitis media.

Table 10. Middle Ear Fluid and Serum Concentrations of Clarithromycin and 14-OH-Clarithromycin in Pediatric Patients
CONCENTRATION (after 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hours for 5 doses)
Analyte Middle Ear Fluid (mcg/mL) Serum (mcg/mL)
Clarithromycin 2.5 1.7
14-OH Clarithromycin 1.3 0.8

When pediatric patients (n = 10) were administered a single oral dose of 7.5 mg/kg clarithromycin as an oral suspension, food increased mean peak plasma clarithromycin concentrations from 3.6 (± 1.5) mcg/mL to 4.6 (± 2.8) mcg/mL and the extent of absorption from 10.0 (± 5.5) hr•mcg/mL to 14.2 (± 9.4) hr•mcg/mL.

In pediatric patients requiring antibacterial therapy, administration of 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hours of clarithromycin as an oral suspension generally resulted in steady-state peak plasma concentrations of 3 mcg/mL to 7 mcg/mL for clarithromycin and 1 mcg/mL to 2 mcg/mL for 14-OH clarithromycin.

In HIV-infected pediatric patients taking 15 mg/kg of clarithromycin as an oral suspension every 12 hours, steady-state clarithromycin peak concentrations generally ranged from 6 mcg/mL to 15 mcg/mL.

HIV Infection

Steady-state concentrations of clarithromycin and 14-OH clarithromycin observed following administration of 500 mg doses of clarithromycin every 12 hours to adult patients with HIV infection were similar to those observed in healthy volunteers. In adult HIV-infected patients taking 500-mg or 1000-mg doses of clarithromycin every 12 hours, steady-state clarithromycin Cmax values ranged from 2 mcg/mL to 4 mcg/mL and 5 mcg/mL to 10 mcg/mL, respectively.

Hepatic Impairment

The steady-state concentrations of clarithromycin in subjects with impaired hepatic function did not differ from those in normal subjects; however, the 14-OH clarithromycin concentrations were lower in the hepatically impaired subjects. The decreased formation of 14-OH clarithromycin was at least partially offset by an increase in renal clearance of clarithromycin in the subjects with impaired hepatic function when compared to healthy subjects.

Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of clarithromycin was also altered in subjects with impaired renal function [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Dosage and Administration (2.5)].

Drug Interactions

Fluconazole

Following administration of fluconazole 200 mg daily and clarithromycin 500 mg twice daily to 21 healthy volunteers, the steady-state clarithromycin Cmin and AUC increased 33% and 18%, respectively. Clarithromycin exposures were increased and steady-state concentrations of 14-OH clarithromycin were not significantly affected by concomitant administration of fluconazole.

Colchicine

When a single dose of colchicine 0.6 mg was administered with clarithromycin 250 mg BID for 7 days, the colchicine Cmax increased 197% and the AUC0-∞ increased 239% compared to administration of colchicine alone.

Atazanavir

Following administration of clarithromycin (500 mg twice daily) with atazanavir (400 mg once daily), the clarithromycin AUC increased 94%, the 14-OH clarithromycin AUC decreased 70% and the atazanavir AUC increased 28%.

Ritonavir

Concomitant administration of clarithromycin and ritonavir (n = 22) resulted in a 77% increase in clarithromycin AUC and a 100% decrease in the AUC of 14-OH clarithromycin.

Saquinavir

Following administration of clarithromycin (500 mg bid) and saquinavir (soft gelatin capsules, 1200 mg tid) to 12 healthy volunteers, the steady-state saquinavir AUC and Cmax increased 177% and 187% respectively compared to administration of saquinavir alone. Clarithromycin AUC and Cmax increased 45% and 39% respectively, whereas the 14–OH clarithromycin AUC and Cmax decreased 24% and 34% respectively, compared to administration with clarithromycin alone.

Didanosine

Simultaneous administration of clarithromycin tablets and didanosine to 12 HIV-infected adult patients resulted in no statistically significant change in didanosine pharmacokinetics.

Zidovudine

Following administration of clarithromycin 500 mg tablets twice daily with zidovudine 100 mg every 4 hours, the steady-state zidovudine AUC decreased 12% compared to administration of zidovudine alone (n=4). Individual values ranged from a decrease of 34% to an increase of 14%. When clarithromycin tablets were administered two to four hours prior to zidovudine, the steady-state zidovudine Cmax increased 100% whereas the AUC was unaffected (n=24).

Omeprazole

Clarithromycin 500 mg every 8 hours was given in combination with omeprazole 40 mg daily to healthy adult subjects. The steady-state plasma concentrations of omeprazole were increased (Cmax , AUC0-24 , and t½ increases of 30%, 89%, and 34%, respectively), by the concomitant administration of clarithromycin.

The plasma levels of clarithromycin and 14–OH clarithromycin were increased by the concomitant administration of omeprazole. For clarithromycin, the mean Cmax was 10% greater, the mean Cmin was 27% greater, and the mean AUC0-8 was 15% greater when clarithromycin was administered with omeprazole than when clarithromycin was administered alone. Similar results were seen for 14–OH clarithromycin, the mean Cmax was 45% greater, the mean Cmin was 57% greater, and the mean AUC0-8 was 45% greater. Clarithromycin concentrations in the gastric tissue and mucus were also increased by concomitant administration of omeprazole.

Clarithromycin Tissue Concentrations 2 hours after Dose (mcg/mL)/(mcg/g)
Treatment N antrum fundus N Mucus
Clarithromycin 5 10.48 ± 2.01 20.81 ± 7.64 4 4.15 ± 7.74
Clarithromycin + Omeprazole 5 19.96 ± 4.71 24.25 ± 6.37 4 39.29 ± 32.79

Theophylline

In two studies in which theophylline was administered with clarithromycin (a theophylline sustained-release formulation was dosed at either 6.5 mg/kg or 12 mg/kg together with 250 or 500 mg q12h clarithromycin), the steady-state levels of Cmax , Cmin , and the area under the serum concentration time curve (AUC) of theophylline increased about 20%.

Midazolam

When a single dose of midazolam was co-administered with clarithromycin tablets (500 mg twice daily for 7 days), midazolam AUC increased 174% after intravenous administration of midazolam and 600% after oral administration.

For information about other drugs indicated in combination with clarithromycin, refer to their full prescribing information, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY section.

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