Telithromycin

Telithromycin treats pneumonia. Tell your doctor if you have a heart problem called "QTc prolongation".

Telithromycin Overview

Reviewed: August 16, 2012
Updated: 

Telithromycin is a prescription medication used to treat pneumonia caused by bacteria. Telithromycin belongs to a group of drugs called ketolide antibiotics, which work by killing bacteria.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.

Common side effects of telithromycin include nausea, headache, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how telithromycin affects you.

Patient Ratings for Telithromycin

How was your experience with Telithromycin?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking Telithromycin?

What are you taking Telithromycin for?

Choose one
  • Other
  • Bacterial Infections

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Telithromycin work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend Telithromycin to a friend?

Pill Images

{{ slide.name }}
pill-image {{ slide.name }}
Color: {{ slide.color }} Shape: {{ slide.shape }} Size: {{ slide.size }} Score: {{ slide.score }} Imprint: {{ slide.imprint }}
<<
Prev
{{ slide.number }} of {{ slide.total }}
>>
Next

Telithromycin Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Telithromycin

Telithromycin 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.

Telithromycin Brand Names

Telithromycin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Telithromycin Drug Class

Telithromycin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Telithromycin

See "Drug Precautions".

Telithromycin may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Pseudomembranous colitis (an intestine infection). Pseudomembranous colitis can happen with most antibiotics, including telithromycin. 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 telithromycin are:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • 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 telithromycin. For more information ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Telithromycin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Telithromycin 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 telithromycin
  • certain medicines called calcium channel blockers, such as: verapamil (Calan), amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem), or other medications containing these products while you take telithromycin
  • cholesterol lowering medicines; you should not take these cholesterol lowering medicines while taking telithromycin:
    • 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 telithromycin without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor will tell you if you can take other medicines while taking telithromycin.

Telithromycin Precautions

Do not take telithromycin 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 telithromycin, in some cases leading to death.

Telithromycin 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 telithromycin. Severe liver damage has happened during treatment, even after a few doses, or right after treatment with telithromycin has ended.

Stop taking telithromycin and call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems. Do not take another dose of telithromycin unless your doctor tells you to.

Signs of liver problems include:

  • increased tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • 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 telithromycin if you have ever had liver problems while taking telithromycin or macrolide antibiotics. Macrolide antibiotics include:

  • erythromycin
  • azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • dirithromycin (Dynabac)
 
2. Vision problems. Telithromycin 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. Telithromycin 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 telithromycin if you have:

  • vision problems
  • fainting
  • confusion
  • seeing things that are not there (visual hallucinations)

Stop taking telithromycin and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms. Do not take another dose of telithromycin unless your doctor tells you to.

4. Low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and fainting. Telithromycin 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:

Do not take telithromycin if you:

  • have myasthenia gravis
  • have had liver problems while taking telithromycin or macrolide antibiotics.
  • have ever had an allergic reaction to telithromycin in telithromycin or macrolide antibiotics.
  • take cisapride (Propulsid) or pimozide (Orap).
  • take colchicine (Colcrys) and have kidney or liver problems.

 

 

Telithromycin Food Interactions

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 telithromycin there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving telithromycin.

Inform MD

Before taking telithromycin, 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 telithromycin 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 telithromycin passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take telithromycin.

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Telithromycin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if telithromycin will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Telithromycin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if telithromycin passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take telithromycin.

Telithromycin Usage

  • Take telithromycin 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 telithromycin with or without food.
  • Swallow telithromycin tablets whole.
  • If you take too much telithromycin, call your doctor, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Telithromycin Dosage

Take telithromycin exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. 

The recommended dose of telithromycin 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 telithromycin dose is reduced to 600 mg once daily. The dose may be reduced further for people who have both kidney disease and liver disease.

Telithromycin Overdose

If you take too much telithromycin, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If telithromycin is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store telithromycin tablets at room temperature, between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Keep telithromycin and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Telithromycin FDA Warning

Telithromycin 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 telithromycin.