Don't take more than 1000mg per day of Clarithromycin (Biaxin)! As a result of activist pressure at the Vancouver conference, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sent out a clinical alert to all physicians on July 23, 1996. A clinical trial comparing different doses of Clarithromycin to other drugs for prophylaxis or treatment of MAC infection was stopped prematurely last winter when the independent safety monitors found an elevated death rate among those in one arm of the study who were given 2000 mg/day (four 500mg tablets) of Clarithromycin.
The NIH immediately notified all participants in the trial, but did not think a clinical alert was warranted because officials believed very few PWAs were being prescribed the higher doses. The drug is approved for use at 1000 mg/day (or one 500mg tablet twice a day); however, some doctors prescribe it at the higher dose to try to knock out pesky MAC and other infections. Should your doctor be a bit out of the information loop, tell him or her and don't take the high dose!
This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.