Ketek (generic: telithromycin) is a prescription medication used to treat pneumonia caused by bacteria. Ketek belongs to a group of drugs called ketolide antibiotics, which work by stopping the bacteria from making certain proteins, causing them to die.
This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.
Common side effects of Ketek include nausea, headache, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Ketek affects you.
Ketek is a prescription medication used to treat certain types of pneumonia in people at least 18 years of age.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
See "Drug Precautions".
Ketek may cause serious side effects, including:
- Pseudomembranous colitis (an intestine infection). Pseudomembranous colitis can happen with most antibiotics, including Ketek. Call your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away, or bloody stools. You may also have stomach cramps and a fever. Pseudomembranous colitis can happen up to 2 months after you have finished your antibiotic.
The most common side effects of Ketek are:
- problems with taste
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all of the possible side effects of Ketek. For more information ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ketek and other medicines may affect or interact with each other, sometimes causing serious side effects.
Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- colchicine (Colcrys) while you take Ketek
- certain medicines called calcium channel blockers, such as: verapamil (Calan), amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem), or other medications containing these products while you take Ketek
- cholesterol lowering medicines; you should not take these cholesterol lowering medicines while taking Ketek:
- simvastatin (Zocor, Vytorin)
- lovastatin (Mevacor)
- atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Ask your doctor if you are not sure if the medicine you take is included in the list of medicines above.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take other medicines with Ketek without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor will tell you if you can take other medicines while taking Ketek.
Do not take Ketek if you have myasthenia gravis (a rare disease which causes muscle weakness). Worsening of myasthenia gravis symptoms including life-threatening breathing problems have happened in people with myasthenia gravis after taking Ketek, in some cases leading to death.
Ketek can cause other serious side effects, including:
- 1. Severe liver damage (hepatotoxicity). Severe liver damage, in some cases leading to a liver transplant or death has happened in people treated with Ketek. Severe liver damage has happened during treatment, even after a few doses, or right after treatment with Ketek has ended.
Stop taking Ketek and call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems. Do not take another dose of Ketek unless your doctor tells you to.
Signs of liver problems include:
- increased tiredness
- loss of appetite
- yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
- dark colored urine (tea colored)
- light colored stools
- right upper belly pain
- itchy skin
Do not take Ketek if you have ever had liver problems while taking Ketek or macrolide antibiotics. Macrolide antibiotics include:
- azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax)
- clarithromycin (Biaxin)
- dirithromycin (Dynabac)
- 2. Vision problems. Ketek may cause you to have blurred vision, trouble focusing your eyes, and double vision. You may especially notice vision problems if you look quickly between objects close to you and objects far away from you.
- 3. Fainting. Ketek may cause you to faint, especially if you also have nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness.
Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities while taking Ketek if you have:
- vision problems
- seeing things that are not there (visual hallucinations)
Stop taking Ketek and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms. Do not take another dose of Ketek unless your doctor tells you to.
4. Low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and fainting. Ketek may cause you to have low blood pressure, a slow heart rate, and fainting when you also take certain medicines called calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers include:
- verapamil (Calan)
- amlodipine (Norvasc)
- diltiazem (Cardizem)
- or other medications containing these products.
Do not take Ketek if you:
- have myasthenia gravis
- have had liver problems while taking Ketek or macrolide antibiotics.
- have ever had an allergic reaction to telithromycin in Ketek or macrolide antibiotics.
- take cisapride (Propulsid) or pimozide (Orap).
- take colchicine (Colcrys) and have kidney or liver problems.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Ketek there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Ketek.
Before taking Ketek, tell your doctor if you:
- have liver problems
- have a heart problem called "QTc prolongation" or have a family history of QTc prolongation
- have other heart problems
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Ketek will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Ketek passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Ketek.
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Ketek will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Ketek passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Ketek.
- Take Ketek exactly as your doctor tells you.
- Skipping doses or not taking all of an antibiotic may:
- make the treatment not work as well
- increase the chance that the bacteria will develop resistance to the antibiotic
- If you have kidney disease, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose for you.
- Take Ketek with or without food.
- Swallow Ketek tablets whole.
- If you take too much Ketek, call your doctor, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.
Take Ketek exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The recommended dose of Ketek is 800 mg (2 tablets of 400 mg) taken by mouth once every day for 7 to 10 days. For people with sever kidney disease, including people who need dialysis, the Ketek dose is reduced to 600 mg once daily. The dose may be reduced further for people who have both kidney disease and liver disease.
If you take too much Ketek, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Ketek is available in 300 mg and 400 mg tablets.
Active Ingredient: telithromycin
Inactive Ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, red ferric oxide, talc, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide
- Store Ketek tablets at room temperature, between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
- Keep Ketek and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Ketek is contraindicated in patients with myasthenia gravis. There have been reports of fatal and life-threatening respiratory failure in patients with myasthenia gravis associated with the use of Ketek.