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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes stomach pain and diarrhea post intake of Biaxin?

My doctor put me on biaxin 500 mg 2x day for 10 days for oral infection of oral biopsy of floor of mouth. I had been taking simvastatin 20 mg for years. Pharmacist checked with Dr. He said stop simvastatin and take the biaxin. I have only taken 3 biaxin and I have had stomach pains and diarrhea. I woke up at 3.00 am with numbness and tingling in both feet and one hand. I finally dozed off around 6.00 am and woke with stomack pains and when I stood up had cramps in the back of both legs. Should I stop the Biaxin. Thanks, Tom.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017
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Infectious Diseases Specialist 's  Response

Related diarrhea, stomach pain and muscle pain it is known that these are some of rare major side effects of clarithromycin and you should talk with your doctor to stop it or not. According biaxin used with simvastatin, can cause unwanted or dangerous effects. Using clarithromycin together with simvastatin is not recommended.

Combining these medications may significantly increase the blood levels of simvastatin. This can increase the risk of side effects such as liver damage and a rare but serious condition called rhabdomyolysis that involves the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. So, in your case is better to stop simvastatin during the period that you are taking clarithromycin.

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Dr. Monika Dede
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