Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Roxithromycin

Roxithromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic effective in the treatment of upper and lower respiratory tract infections.

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Roxithromycin is the active ingredient of Roxithromycin-Hexal, Roxulide, Roxxibid, and Rulide.

General information

Roxithromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic effective in the treatment of upper and lower respiratory tract infections, uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections, middle-ear infections, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases caused by susceptible organisms.

It is commonly used as an alternative in people allergic to penicillin and related antibiotics.

It is important to note that this medication is only effective against bacterial infections - if your infection is the result of a viral or fungal infection, it will be ineffective.

Antibiotic resistance - when bacteria develop the ability to defend themselves against the effect of an antibiotic - occurs frequently with many antibiotics. The most common causes for this are when patients do not complete the prescribed course in full, allowing bacteria to recover from treatment, and by using antibiotics for non-bacterial infections, such as cold and flu.

How does roxithromycin work?

Roxithromycin functions by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis - it thus prevents bacteria to produce specific proteins essential for their survival.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: roxithromycin is available as tablets

What does it do ? roxithromycin is an antibiotic

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is roxithromycin available as a generic? yes

Is roxithromycin available on prescription only? yes

User information

Dietary advice: roxithromycin can be taken with or without food. Ingest plenty of fluid whilst taking roxithromycin. For optimal results the antibiotic should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal as food in the stomach can reduce the absorption of roxithromycin.

Stopping this medicine: do not stop using Roxithromycin before you have completed the course prescribed by your doctor, even if you begin to feel better.

Prolonged use: roxithromycin is generally used for short periods of time only. In rare cases it is used for prolonged periods of time - this may be associated with increased side effects, and your prescriber should monitor you closely.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you are allergic to other antibiotics, including azithromycin and clarithromycin
  • you have a liver or kidney disease
  • if you are taking certain medicines for migraine headache called ergot alkaloids
  • If you have a heart condition

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not generally intended for use in young children.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work : no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

stomach pain

x

x

nausea/vomiting

x

x

headache

x

x

dizziness

x

x

swelling of lips/ face and neck

x

x

taste/smell disturbance

x

x

difficulty breathing

x

x

hives, itch, rash

x

x

sweating

x

x

yellowish discoloration of skin or eyes

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Drug interactions

alfentanil

increased risk of roxithromycin toxicity

felodipine

increased risk of felodipine toxicity

cimetidine

increased risk of roxithromycin toxicity or even hearing loss

ciclosporin

increased risk of ciclosporin toxicity

bromocriptine, cabergolide

increased risk of bromocriptine/cabergolide toxicity

ergot alkaloids

ergotism is possible

statin cholesterol lowering drugs

possibility muscle pain and spasms

antacids containing magnesium and aluminium

decreased effect of azithromycin

warfarin

increased risk of warfarin toxicity

carbamazepine

increased risk of carbamazepine toxicity

terfenadine

increased risk of cardiac toxicity

digoxin

increased risk of digoxin toxicity

oral contraceptives

decreased efficacy of the pill

theophylline

increased risk of theophylline toxicity

Disease interactions

Avoid taking roxithromycin if you have a liver or kidney disease, or if you are allergic to other medications.

Overdose action

Little information on roxithromycin overdose is known. Consult your doctor should an overdose be suspected.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 150mg twice a day

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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