How long does clarithromycin stay in your system?

How long do antibiotics stay in your system?

Some types of antibiotics act differently. They attach to hematophages (cells of the human immune system). During the inflammatory process immune cells are concentrated in the area of the disease, and these antibiotics are concentrated there together with immune cells.
The doctor determines the compatibility of certain medications first. Medicines that are incompatible with antimicrobial drugs can be prescribed only after antibiotics have been completely eliminated from the body.

Families planning children should take into account the time of complete removal of antibacterial drugs from the body. It is important to understand and remember that a number of antibacterial drugs can adversely affect both the conception process and the health of the child. For example, the antibiotic from tetracyclines group can adversely affect conception 2 months after its administration.

On average, the body needs 6-12 hours to completely remove the antibiotic. However, it should be noted that there are drugs that are withdrawn longer (about 14 days). Washout period depends not only on chemical composition of antibiotic, but also on a number of factors listed below:

  1. Medication form. Injection medicines quickly reach the therapeutic concentration and are removed from the body for 12 hours. Tablets in comparison with injections are removed rather slowly. The elimination period is up to 3 days.
  2. Patient’s age. A number of studies have been conducted to determine the time of withdrawal of antibiotics from the body of men and women of different ages. Studies have shown that antibiotics are removed longer in aged people.
  3. Presence or absence of chronic forms of diseases. For example, if a patient has a chronic kidney disease toxins from the body, as well as medicines, will be removed more slowly than a person not suffering from such a disease.
  4. Mode of life, which people adhere to. Doctors and pharmacists agree that after treatment the antibiotic is removed much faster in people who take exercise and have an active lifestyle. Diet is also very important. The use of high-quality and healthy foods has a positive effect on the state of the body and the speed of its purification.

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer to the questions of how quickly and how many days the body requires for complete purification from medications. Too many factors influence this process. However, if you took the medicine in right dosage and no longer than it was necessary you should not worry because your body will quickly clear itself of the medications taken.

First, a little reminder about taste. Our sensory system for taste is remarkably sensitive, made possible by our taste buds. Taste buds are each made up of taste receptor cells which bind to small molecules related to flavor. Through sensory nerves, the receptors relay the taste information to the brain and this allows us to discern five basic tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami/savory).

An unpleasant taste or lack of taste can affect appetite, and even lead to depression. If your taste buds don’t seem right, rule out sinus or nasal issues, viral upper respiratory infections, or other common causes, then take a look at your meds.

With certain medications, these changes in taste may occur:

Bitter taste:

  • Stimulants used in the treatment of ADHD may cause a bitter taste in your mouth. Adderall and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana) decrease the threshold for the bitter taste in your mouth, making you more sensitive to the perception that something is bitter.
  • Altitude sickness prevention in travelers can be overcome with Diamox (acetazolamide)—which may also leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.

Metallic taste:

  • Many antibiotics cause a metallic taste in the mouth. Penicillin, amoxicillin, Augmentin, and cephalosporins (Ancef, Keflex) are commonly prescribed for acute sore throat, and ear and sinus infections, and they may lead to a metallic taste in your mouth. Why? The antibiotics listed above may affect the absorption of zinc, and zinc deficiency leads to a metallic bad taste in the mouth. Clarithromycin (Biaxin), metronidazole (Flagyl), and tetracycline are other antibiotics that may also cause metallic taste—but we don’t know why that occurs.
  • Allopurinol, used for the prevention of gouty attacks, may cause a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Lithium is prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder and may also lead to a metallic taste in your mouth.

Loss of sour taste:

  • Isotretinoin (Absorica, Accutane) is used for the treatment of severe acne, and you may notice the loss of sour taste while taking it. Isotretinoin disrupts ion channels, leading to loss of sour taste.

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Persistent sweet, sour, salty, bitter or metallic taste (aka dysgeusia):

  • Captopril, enalapril and lisinopril are ACE inhibitors used to lower blood pressure. They cause disrupted taste, likely by causing zinc deficiency.

Less or lack of taste:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Equetro) is used for seizures, bipolar disorder, restless legs, and neuropathic pain. It may lead to diminished taste by decreasing calcium mediated neurotransmission (it keeps taste signals from getting to your brain).
  • Levodopa is half of the Parkinson’s drug Sinemet and it loves to cause decreased taste in those taking it. Levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet) works to help increase levels of circulating dopamine in Parkinson’s patients—but one downside is that results in lowered taste transmission.
  • Used for the treatment of symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Bentyl (dicyclomine) and Levsin (hyoscyamine) may cause loss of taste.
  • Diltiazem (cardizem) is a calcium channel blocker often used for heart rate control in patients with atrial fibrillation, and to lower blood pressure. Diltiazem also decreases calcium mediated neurotransmission, causing loss of taste or diminished taste.
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is prescribed to lower blood pressure, and it can also cause loss of taste.
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a potassium-sparing diuretic used in the treatment of heart failure, acne, and ascites from liver disease, and it may lead to loss of taste.
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil) is prescribed for the treatment of nail fungus. Terbinafine may cause loss of taste to the point where it results in weight loss and depression in as many as 3% of folks taking it.
  • Methimazole (Tapazole) is used to treat hyperthyroidism associated with Graves Disease, and may cause loss of taste due to zinc depletion.

Remember if your medications are altering your taste, discontinuing them should fix that. So ask your doctor about alternatives.

Dr O.

  • Antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia in adolescent and adult outpatients

    Review question

    This review studied the effects of antibiotics on adolescents and adults with pneumonia acquired and treated in the community (as opposed to acquiring pneumonia in hospital and/or being treated for pneumonia in hospital). The evidence is current to March 2014.


    Lower respiratory tract infection is the third leading cause of death worldwide and the first leading cause of death in low-income countries. Pneumonia, or infection of the lungs, is a common condition representing a significant disease burden for the community. Pneumonia is especially life-threatening in children younger than five years, in older people and in people with other illnesses that may affect their immune system (such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS, or solid organ transplant recipients). Antibiotics are the most common treatment for pneumonia and these can vary in their effectiveness and adverse effects.

    Study characteristics

    We identified 11 trials (with 3352 participants older than 12 years with a diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia), fully published in peer-reviewed journals, focused on treatment of pneumonia in adolescents and adults treated in the community in outpatient settings. This included five new trials included since our last review published in 2009. None of the trials included antibiotics versus placebo; all trials included one or more antibiotics. All participants were diagnosed with pneumonia based upon clinical diagnosis by the physician and chest X-ray.

    Study funding sources

    All included trials were well conducted; nine of the 11 trials were sponsored by bio-pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the antibiotics used in the study, or their authors were closely linked with the company.

    Key results

    Nine of the included trials compared different antibiotics and, hence, we could not combine the results of the individual trials to present our overall conclusion. There were some notable adverse events in seven studies: 1) erythromycin demonstrated significant gastrointestinal side effects compared to clarithromycin in two studies; 2) nemonoxacin demonstrated higher gastrointestinal (nausea, diarrhoea) and nervous system (dizziness, headache) adverse events compared to levofloxacin; 3) cethromycin demonstrated more side effects, especially a distortion of the sense of taste, than clarithromycin; 4) gastritis and diarrhoea were more common in the high-dose amoxicillin group (1 g three times a day) compared to the other three antibiotic groups (clarithromycin, azithromycin and levofloxacin).


    Unfortunately, there were not enough trials to compare the effects of different antibiotics for pneumonia acquired and treated in the community.


  • tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart problem that may cause fainting or irregular heartbeat), ventricular arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), a low level of magnesium or potassium in your blood, myasthenia gravis (MG; a disorder of the nervous system that causes muscle weakness), or if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart), or kidney, or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking clarithromycin, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking clarithromycin.
  • you should know that clarithromycin may make you dizzy, confused, or disoriented. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

By MyHealthNewsDaily Staff

Most people who have sinus infections should not be treated with antibiotics because the drugs are unlikely to help, according to new guidelines from infectious disease experts.

Although sinus infections are the fifth-leading reason for antibiotic prescriptions, 90 to 98 percent of cases are caused by viruses, which are not affected by antibiotics, according to the guidelines issued today (March 21) by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Used inappropriately, antibiotics spur the development of drug-resistant superbugs, the IDSA says.

“There is no simple test that will easily and quickly determine whether a sinus infection is viral or bacterial, so many physicians prescribe antibiotics ‘just in case,'” said Dr. Anthony Chow, professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and chairman of the guidelines panel.

“However, if the infection turns out to be viral — as most are — the antibiotics won’t help and in fact can cause harm by increasing antibiotic resistance, exposing patients to drug side effects unnecessarily and adding cost,” Chow said.

A study of 166 people with sinus infections published in February in the Journal of the American Medical association showed that those who took antibiotics saw no better improvement in their symptoms than those taking a placebo.

The new guidelines provide specific characteristics of the illness to help doctors distinguish between viral and bacterial sinus infections.

How to tell if it’s bacterial

A sinus infection, properly called acute rhinosinusitis, is inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages that can cause uncomfortable pressure on either side of the nose, and last for weeks. Most sinus infections develop during or after a cold or other upper respiratory infection, but other factors such as allergens and environmental irritants may play a role.

According to the guidelines, a sinus infection is likely caused by bacteria, and should be treated with antibiotics, if any of these criteria are met:

  • symptoms last for 10 days or more and are not improving (previous guidelines suggested waiting seven days)
  • symptoms are severe, including fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, nasal discharge and facial pain lasting three to four days in a row
  • symptoms get worse, with new fever, headache or increased nasal discharge

For adults, 5 to 7 days is enough

The guidelines recommend treating bacterial sinus infections with amoxicillin-clavulanate, instead of the drug currently used, amoxicillin, because the addition of clavulanate helps to thwart the development of antibiotic resistance. The guidelines also recommend against using other commonly used antibiotics, due to increasing drug resistance.

While previous guidelines have recommended taking antibiotics for 10 days to two weeks, the new guidelines suggest five to seven days of antibiotics is long enough for the treatment of adults, and will not encourage bacterial resistance. The IDSA guidelines still recommend children receive antibiotic treatment for 10 days to two weeks.

Whether a sinus infection is bacterial or viral, decongestants and antihistamines are not helpful and may make symptoms worse, the guidelines say.

The voluntary guidelines are not intended to take the place of a doctor’s judgment, but rather support the decision-making process, which must be made according to each patient’s circumstances, the IDSA says.

The guidelines will be published in the April 15 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

More from MyHealthNewsDaily:

  • 9 Weirdest Allergies
  • Colds, Allergies or Sinusitis? How You Can Tell (Infographic)
  • 10 Medical Myths That Just Won’t Go Away

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