Spiramycin - Oral

Pronunciation: SPIR-a-MYE-sin

Common Brand Name(s): Rovamycine

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

Spiramycin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medication is known as a macrolide antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.

This medication must not be used to treat infections of the brain/spinal cord.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used to reduce the risk of a serious parasite infection (toxoplasmosis) spreading to an unborn baby during pregnancy.

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times daily. For the treatment of gonorrhea, this medication is usually taken as a single dose.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.

For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects

Numbness/tingling of the skin, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • dark urine
  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • joint swelling/pain
  • muscle pain
  • unusual tiredness

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • severe dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast/irregular heartbeat

This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop:

  • persistent diarrhea
  • abdominal or stomach pain/cramping
  • blood/mucus in your stool

Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have any of these symptoms because these products may make them worse.

Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking spiramycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • liver disease

Spiramycin may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using spiramycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:

  • certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
  • family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using spiramycin safely.

Spiramycin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • ergot alkaloids (such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine)

Many drugs besides spiramycin may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor tells you to.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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