Based on findings from animal studies, clarithromycin tablets are not recommended for use in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative therapy is appropriate. If pregnancy occurs while taking clarithromycin tablets, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7)].
Limited data from a small number of published human studies with clarithromycin tablets use during pregnancy are insufficient to inform drug-associated risks of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. In animal reproduction studies, administration of oral clarithromycin to pregnant mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys during the period of organogenesis produced malformations in rats (cardiovascular anomalies) and mice (cleft palate) at clinically relevant doses based on body surface area comparison. Fetal effects in mice, rats, and monkeys (e.g., reduced fetal survival, body weight, body weight gain) and implantation losses in rabbits were generally considered to be secondary to maternal toxicity (see Data).
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Animal reproduction studies were conducted in mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys with oral and intravenously administered clarithromycin. In pregnant mice, clarithromycin was administered during organogenesis (gestation day [GD] 6 to 15) at oral doses of 15, 60, 250, 500, or 1000 mg/kg/day. Reduced body weight observed in dams at 1000 mg/kg/day (3 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] based on body surface area comparison) resulted in reduced survival and body weight of the fetuses. At ≥ 500 mg/kg/day, increases in the incidence of post-implantation loss and cleft palate in the fetuses were observed. No adverse developmental effects were observed in mice at ≤ 250 mg/kg/day (≤ 1 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison).
In pregnant Sprague Dawley rats, clarithromycin was administered during organogenesis (GD 6 to 15) at oral doses of 15, 50, or 150 mg/kg/day. Reductions in body weight and food consumption was observed in dams at 150 mg/kg/day. Increased resorptions and reduced body weight of the fetuses at this dose were considered secondary to maternal toxicity. Additionally, at 150 mg/kg/day (1 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison), a low incidence of cardiovascular anomalies (complete situs inversus, undivided truncus, IV septal defect) was observed in the fetuses. Clarithromycin did not cause adverse developmental effects in rats at 50 mg/kg/day (0.3 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison). Intravenous dosing of clarithromycin during organogenesis in rats (GD 6 to 15) at 15, 50, or 160 mg/kg/day was associated with maternal toxicity (reduced body weight, body-weight gain, and food consumption) at 160 mg/kg/day but no evidence of adverse developmental effects at any dose (≤ 1 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison).
In pregnant Wistar rat, clarithromycin was administered during organogenesis (GD 7 to 17) at oral doses of 10, 40, or 160 mg/kg/day. Reduced body weight and food consumption were observed in dams at 160 mg/kg/day but there was no evidence of adverse developmental effects at any dose (≤ 1 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison).
In pregnant rabbits, clarithromycin administered during organogenesis (GD 6 to 18) at oral doses of 10, 35, or 125 mg/kg/day resulted in reduced maternal food consumption and decreased body weight at the highest dose, with no evidence of any adverse developmental effects at any dose (≤ 2 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison). Intravenously administered clarithromycin to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis (GD 6 to 18) in rabbits at 20, 40, 80, or 160 mg/kg/day (≥ 0.3 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison) resulted in maternal toxicity and implantation losses at all doses.
In pregnant monkeys, clarithromycin was administered (GD 20 to 50) at oral doses of 35 or 70 mg/kg/day. Dose-dependent emesis, poor appetite, fecal changes, and reduced body weight were observed in dams at all doses (≥ 0.5 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison). Growth retardation in 1 fetus at 70 mg/kg/day was considered secondary to maternal toxicity. There was no evidence of primary drug related adverse developmental effects at any dose tested.
In a reproductive toxicology study in rats administered oral clarithromycin late in gestation through lactation (GD 17 to post-natal day 21) at doses of 10, 40, or 160 mg/kg/day (≤ 1 times MRHD based on body surface area comparison), reductions in maternal body weight and food consumption were observed at 160 mg/kg/day. Reduced body-weight gain observed in offspring at 160 mg/kg/day was considered secondary to maternal toxicity. No adverse developmental effects were observed with clarithromycin at any dose tested.
Based on limited human data, clarithromycin and its active metabolite 14-OH clarithromycin are present in human milk at less than 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose (see Data). In a separate observational study, reported adverse effects on breast-fed children (rash, diarrhea, loss of appetite, somnolence) were comparable to amoxicillin (see Data). No data are available to assess the effects of clarithromycin or 14-OH clarithromycin on milk production. The development and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for clarithromycin tablets and any potential adverse effects on the breast-fed child from clarithromycin tablets or from the underlying maternal condition.
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 tablets 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.
Administration of clarithromycin resulted in testicular atrophy in rats, dogs and monkeys [see Nonclinical Toxicology ( 13.1)].
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:
- 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 in pediatric patients under 6 months of age have not been established. The safety of clarithromycin has not been studied in MAC patients under the age of 20 months.
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)] .
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