Active ingredients: clarithromycin

Brand names include: Clarac, Clarithro, Kalixocin, Klacid

Note about medicines names

Most medicines have two names: the active ingredient and the brand name. The active ingredient is the chemical in the medicine that makes it work. The brand name is the name given to the medicine by its manufacturer. There may be several brands that contain the same active ingredient. This website uses active ingredient names (e.g. amoxycillin), with brand names in brackets and with a capital letter (e.g. Amoxil). We also discuss medicines in groups or ‘classes’ when their effects or actions are very similar.

To find out more about active ingredients and brand names read our brand choices information.

What is clarithromycin?

Clarithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to the macrolide family of antibiotics.

Clarithromycin can be used to treat some respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and their complications, as well as some other infections caused by bacteria.

Find out more about what infections clarithromycin is used for, how it works, who can take it, and the side effects and interactions of clarithromycin.

Read about the different brands of clarithromycin and find the consumer medicines information leaflet for your brand.

  • Rossi S, ed. Australian Medicines Handbook [online]. Adelaide: AMH, July 2012.
  • Sweetman S, ed. Martindale: The complete drug reference [online]. London: Pharmaceutical Press (accessed 18 October 2011).
  • Antibiotic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic version 14; clarithromycin. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2012 (accessed 24 February 2012).