Clarithromycin (Page 3 of 10)

5.2 QT Prolongation

Clarithromycin has been associated with prolongation of the QT interval and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Cases of have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving clarithromycin. Fatalities have been reported. Clarithromycin has been associated with prolongation of the QT interval and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Cases of torsades de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving clarithromycin. Fatalities have been reported.

Avoid clarithromycin in the following patients:Avoid clarithromycin in the following patients:

  • patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, ventricular cardiac arrhythmia, including torsades de pointes
  • patients receiving drugs known to prolong the QT interval [see also Contraindications (4.2)]
  • patients with ongoing proarrhythmic conditions such as uncorrected hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, clinically significant bradycardia and in patients receiving Class IA (e.g., quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide) or Class III (e.g., dofetilide, amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents. IA

Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval . Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)] .

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

Hepatic dysfunction, including increased liver enzymes, and hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis, with or without jaundice, has been reported with clarithromycin. This hepatic dysfunction may be severe and is usually reversible. In some instances, hepatic failure with fatal outcome has been reported and generally has been associated with serious underlying diseases and/or concomitant medications. Symptoms of hepatitis can include anorexia, jaundice, dark urine, pruritus, or tender abdomen. Discontinue clarithromycin immediately if signs and symptoms of hepatitis occur.

5.4 Serious Adverse Reactions Due to Concomitant Use with Other Drugs

: Serious adverse reactions have been reported in patients taking clarithromycin concomitantly with CYP3A4 substrates. These include colchicine toxicity with colchicine; rhabdomyolysis simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin; hypoglycemia and cardiac arrhythmias (e.g., ) with disopyramide; hypotension and acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine). Most reports of acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 involved elderly patients 65 years of age or older. Use clarithromycin with caution when administered concurrently with medications that induce the cytochrome CYP3A4 enzyme. The use of clarithromycin with simvastatin, lovastatin, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine is contraindicated . Drugs metabolized by CYP3A4: Serious adverse reactions have been reported in patients taking clarithromycin concomitantly with CYP3A4 substrates. These include colchicine toxicity with colchicine; rhabdomyolysis with simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin; hypoglycemia and cardiac arrhythmias (e.g., torsades de pointes) with disopyramide; hypotension and acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine). Most reports of acute kidney injury with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 involved elderly patients 65 years of age or older. Use clarithromycin with caution when administered concurrently with medications that induce the cytochrome CYP3A4 enzyme. The use of clarithromycin with simvastatin, lovastatin, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4.5, 4.6) and Drug Interactions (7)] .

Life-threatening and fatal drug interactions have been reported in patients treated with clarithromycin and colchicine. Clarithromycin is a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor and this interaction may occur while using both drugs at their recommended doses. If co-administration of clarithromycin and colchicine is necessary in patients with normal renal and hepatic function, reduce the dose of colchicine. Monitor patients for clinical symptoms of colchicine toxicity. Concomitant administration of clarithromycin and colchicine is contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment . Colchicine: Life-threatening and fatal drug interactions have been reported in patients treated with clarithromycin and colchicine. Clarithromycin is a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor and this interaction may occur while using both drugs at their recommended doses. If co-administration of clarithromycin and colchicine is necessary in patients with normal renal and hepatic function, reduce the dose of colchicine. Monitor patients for clinical symptoms of colchicine toxicity. Concomitant administration of clarithromycin and colchicine is contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment [see Contraindications (4.4) and Drug Interactions (7)] .

Concomitant use of clarithromycin with lovastatin or simvastatin is contraindicated as these statins are extensively metabolized by CYP3A4, and concomitant treatment with clarithromycin increases their plasma concentration, which increases the risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis. Cases of rhabdomyolysis have been reported in patients taking clarithromycin concomitantly with these statins. If treatment with clarithromycin cannot be avoided, therapy with lovastatin or simvastatin must be suspended during the course of treatment. HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (statins): Concomitant use of clarithromycin with lovastatin or simvastatin is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4.5)] as these statins are extensively metabolized by CYP3A4, and concomitant treatment with clarithromycin increases their plasma concentration, which increases the risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis. Cases of rhabdomyolysis have been reported in patients taking clarithromycin concomitantly with these statins. If treatment with clarithromycin cannot be avoided, therapy with lovastatin or simvastatin must be suspended during the course of treatment.

Exercise caution when prescribing clarithromycin with atorvastatin or pravastatin. In situations where the concomitant use of clarithromycin with atorvastatin or pravastatin cannot be avoided, atorvastatin dose should not exceed 20 mg daily and pravastatin dose should not exceed 40 mg daily. Use of a statin that is not dependent on CYP3A metabolism (e.g., fluvastatin) can be considered. It is recommended to prescribe the lowest registered dose if concomitant use cannot be avoided.Exercise caution when prescribing clarithromycin with atorvastatin or pravastatin. In situations where the concomitant use of clarithromycin with atorvastatin or pravastatin cannot be avoided, atorvastatin dose should not exceed 20 mg daily and pravastatin dose should not exceed 40 mg daily. Use of a statin that is not dependent on CYP3A metabolism (e.g., fluvastatin) can be considered. It is recommended to prescribe the lowest registered dose if concomitant use cannot be avoided.

The concomitant use of clarithromycin and oral hypoglycemic agents and/or insulin can result in significant hypoglycemia. With certain hypoglycemic drugs such as nateglinide, pioglitazone, repaglinide and rosiglitazone, inhibition of CYP3A enzyme by clarithromycin may be involved and could cause hypoglycemia when used concomitantly. Careful monitoring of glucose is recommended . Oral Hypoglycemic Agents/Insulin: The concomitant use of clarithromycin and oral hypoglycemic agents and/or insulin can result in significant hypoglycemia. With certain hypoglycemic drugs such as nateglinide, pioglitazone, repaglinide and rosiglitazone, inhibition of CYP3A enzyme by clarithromycin may be involved and could cause hypoglycemia when used concomitantly. Careful monitoring of glucose is recommended [see Drug Interactions (7)] .

Use quetiapine and clarithromycin concomitantly with caution. Co-administration could result in increased quetiapine exposure and quetiapine related toxicities such as somnolence, orthostatic hypotension, altered state of consciousness, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and QT prolongation. Refer to quetiapine prescribing information for recommendations on dose reduction if co-administered with CYP3A4 inhibitors such as clarithromycin . Quetiapine: Use quetiapine and clarithromycin concomitantly with caution. Co-administration could result in increased quetiapine exposure and quetiapine related toxicities such as somnolence, orthostatic hypotension, altered state of consciousness, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and QT prolongation. Refer to quetiapine prescribing information for recommendations on dose reduction if co-administered with CYP3A4 inhibitors such as clarithromycin [see Drug Interactions (7)] .

There is a risk of serious hemorrhage and significant elevations in INR and prothrombin time when clarithromycin is co-administered with warfarin. Monitor INR and prothrombin times frequently while patients are receiving clarithromycin and oral anticoagulants concurrently . Oral Anticoagulants: There is a risk of serious hemorrhage and significant elevations in INR and prothrombin time when clarithromycin is co-administered with warfarin. Monitor INR and prothrombin times frequently while patients are receiving clarithromycin and oral anticoagulants concurrently [see Drug Interactions (7)] .

Increased sedation and prolongation of sedation have been reported with concomitant administration of clarithromycin and triazolobenzodiazepines, such as triazolam and midazolam . Benzodiazepines: Increased sedation and prolongation of sedation have been reported with concomitant administration of clarithromycin and triazolobenzodiazepines, such as triazolam and midazolam [see Drug Interactions (7)] .

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