Description: Telithromycin is a semisynthetic ketolide antibiotic that blocks protein of the bacteira. It may also inhibit the assembly of nascent ribosomal units.


Absorption: Rapidly absorbed from the GI tract. Bioavailability: 57%. Time to peak plasma concentration: Approx 1-3 hr.

Distribution: Widely distributed in body fluids and tissues, including the resp tract. Volume of distribution: 2.9 L/kg. Plasma protein binding: 60-70%.

Metabolism: Undergoes hepatic metabolism by CYP3A4 and non-CYP3A4 isoenzymes to 4 major metabolites.

Excretion: Via urine (13% as unchanged drug; remainder as metabolites) and faeces (7%). Elimination half-life: 2-3 hr. Terminal half-life: Approx 10 hr.

This medication is a ketolide antibiotic treats a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria. It does not work for viral infections (e.g., common cold, flu).

How to use telithromycin

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using telithromycin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth once daily with or without food or as directed by your doctor.

Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.

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

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Telithromycin can worsen patients with myasthenia gravis.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects persist or worsen:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • mild diarrhea
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • strange taste in the mouth

Tell your doctor immediately if vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision, difficulty focusing) occur.

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:

  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • irregular/fast heartbeat
  • worsening muscle weakness

Telithromycin may rarely cause very serious liver disease.

This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to resistant bacteria.

Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection (oral or vaginal fungal infection).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.

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


  • Allergic reaction to this medication
  • Patients with medical history of:
    • myasthenia gravis
    • severe kidney disease (including dialysis)
    • liver problems (such as hepatitis, especially if it occurred while taking telithromycin or a macrolide antibiotic)
  • May cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation)
  • This medication may cause vision problems, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to QT prolongation
  • This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding

Consult your doctor regarding the precautions mentioned above.


Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • digoxin
  • ergot drugs (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergotamine)
  • ivabradine
  • live bacterial vaccines (e.g., typhoid or cholera vaccines)
  • metoprolol
  • certain “statin” drugs for high cholesterol (atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin)
  • theophylline
  • warfarin

Telithromycin may affect how other medications work. Examples of affected drugs include:

  • Colchicine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Eletriptan
  • Eplerenone
  • Lurasidone
  • Midazolam
  • Regorafenib
  • Rilpivirine
  • Sildenafil
  • Simeprevir
  • Tacrolimus
  • Ticagrelor
  • Triazolam

Other medications may affect how telithromycin works. Examples include:

  • certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole)
  • rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin)
  • John’s wort
  • drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin)

Many drugs besides telithromycin may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including:

  • Amiodarone
  • Cisapride
  • Dofetilide
  • Pimozide
  • Procainamide
  • Quinidine
  • Sotalol
  • Macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin)


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.  Symptoms of overdose may include: irregular/fast heartbeat, fainting.


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 told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

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 and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.


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.


There are no brands containing this molecule.

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