What is Biaxin/Biaxin XL?

Biaxin (clarithromycin) is an antibiotic used to stop the growth of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, strep throat and otitis media (ear infection). It is also used to treat Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a type of lung infection common among people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and -- in combination with other drugs -- to eliminate Helicobactor pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium that causes ulcers. It is available in several prescription-only forms, including the following:
  • 250- and 500-milligram (mg) film-coated (Filmtab) tablets
  • 250- and 500-mg extended-release, film-coated (XL Filmtab) tablets
  • 125- and 250-mg per five milliliters (one teaspoon) oral suspensions (mixtures of drug granules or particles in water)
Biaxin is also sometimes used to treat cryptosporidiosis, Lyme disease, Legionnaires' disease, cat scratch disease and pertussis (whooping cough).