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Biaxin XL is an oral tablet (usually yellow in color but can vary) made up of clarithromycin. This tablet is a antibiotic and comes in the brand name Biaxin XL in 500mg doses.

Biaxin XL is used to treat a large variety of bacterial infections that affect the skin and respiratory system. It can also be used in combination with other medicines to help treat stomach ulcers that are caused by helicobacter pylori.

This medication works by preventing the growth of bacteria on the skin. This medication will not work for a viral infection (viral infections like the common cold must be fought with NSAIDs).

Do not crush or chew this tablet. Swallow it whole with food.

Do not take more or less of a dose than recommended by your doctor.

Do not take Biaxin XL in attempt to treat an undiagnosed condition.

Store this medication in the original container at room temperature. Keep away from light, moisture and heat.


Animal studies have shown that this medication can cause birth defects. It is unknown if the effects are same on humans. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant and want to use Biaxin XL.

Do not use this on an infant under the age of 6 months.

Do not use Biaxin if:

you have had jaundice or liver problems caused by taking clarithromycin; or you have liver or kidney disease and you also take a medicine called colchicine.

Tell your doctor if you are currently taking:

cisapride; pimozide; lomitapide lovastatin or simvastatin; or ergotamine or dihydroergotamine.

Tell  your doctor if you have ever had:

a heart disorder; long QT syndrome (in you or a family member); coronary artery disease (clogged arteries); myasthenia gravis; liver disease; kidney disease; diabetes; or an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood).

Side Effects

Common Biaxin XL side effects may include:

stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; or unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.

Contact your doctor if you notice:

severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody; fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out); confusion, spinning sensation; loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, tiredness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes) (liver problems); or little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath (kidney problems).


What is the difference between Biaxin and Biaxin XL?

They are essentially the same thing only the XL in Biaxin XL stands for extended length. This means the tablet was specifically designed to disperse medicine more slowly. This will allow for an extended period of effectiveness, as it will take longer for the medicine to flush out of your body.


What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the miss dose as soon as possible, if you next dose is approaching soon then just skip it. Try taking the medicine at the same time every day to develop a routine to lessen the chance of forgetting.


What is the recommended dose for a child?

Children doses must be directed by a doctor. However the average adult dose for bacterial infections is 1000mg once a day for 1-2 weeks (7-14 days)


Is it normal for part of the tablet to be in my stool?

Yes. With most XL medications, it is normal for a piece of the tablet to travel through and exit your body. They are designed to break down slowly and sometimes they don’t break down fully by the time it leaves the body.

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