Telithromycin is no longer available in the U.S.. If you are currently using telithromycin, you should call your doctor to discuss switching to another treatment.
Telithromycin may cause worsening of symptoms, including breathing problems, when taken by people with myasthenia gravis (a disease that causes muscle weakness). These breathing problems may be severe or life-threatening and may cause death. Tell your doctor if you have myasthenia gravis. You should not take telithromycin if you have this condition.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with telithromycin and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Telithromycin is used to treat certain types of pneumonia (an infection of the lungs) that is caused by bacteria. Telithromycin is in a class of medications called ketolide antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria.
Antibiotics such as telithromycin not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
Telithromycin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day for 7 to 10 days. To help you remember to take telithromycin, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take telithromycin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
You should start to feel better early in your treatment. Call your doctor if your condition does not improve while you are taking telithromycin. Take telithromycin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking telithromycin too soon or if you skip doses of telithromycin, your infection may not be cured and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking telithromycin,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Never take more than one dose of telithromycin in 24 hours. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Telithromycin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
Telithromycin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the telithromycin, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: May 15, 2018.