How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Spiramycin is an antibiotic that belongs to the class of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It is used to treat certain types of infections that are caused by bacteria. It is most commonly used to treat infections of the lung, skin, and mouth. Spiramycin is sometimes used to treat gonorrhea for people who are allergic to penicillin.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each orange and red capsule, imprinted "ODAN 250" in black ink, contains spiramycin 750,000 IU. Nonmedicinal ingredients: FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 28, FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 6, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, sodium croscarmellose, and titanium dioxide. Tartrazine-free.
Each blue and violet capsule, imprinted "ODAN 500" in black ink, contains spiramycin 1,500,000 IU. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, D&C Red No. 28, D&C Red No. 33, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, sodium croscarmellose, talc, and titanium dioxide. Tartrazine-free.
How should I use this medication?
The usual adult dose of spiramycin is 4 to 6 capsules at 500 mg (for a daily total dosage of 2,000 mg to 3,000 mg) every 24 hours in 2 divided doses. For severe infections, the dose may be increased to 8 to 10 capsules at 500 mg (for a daily total dosage of 4,000 mg to 5,000 mg) in 2 divided doses.
For the treatment of gonorrhea, the dose is usually 8 or 9 capsules at 500 mg.
Children's doses are based on their body weight and are given 2 to 3 times a day.
Spiramycin may be taken with or without food.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Take the medication for the full length of the prescription even if you start to feel better. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Spiramycin should not be taken by anyone who:
- is allergic to spiramycin or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- is using it to treat meningitis
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- numb or tingling sensation of the skin
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- signs of a mild allergic reaction (e.g., skin rash, itching)
- stomach pain and tenderness
- unusual bleeding and bruising
- yellow eyes or skin
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- blood in the urine
- bloody stools
- chest pain
- fainting or dizziness
- irregular heartbeat
- signs of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., severe rash, hives, swollen face or throat, difficulty breathing)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Abnormal heart rhythms: This medication can increase the risk of a type of abnormal heart rhythm called QT prolongation, particularly if it is taken with other medications that cause the same effect, such as quinidine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, mefloquine, and many others.
Check with your pharmacist or doctor to ensure that you are not taking another medication that can cause QT prolongation. People with QT prolongation or a history of heart arrhythmias should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice may interact with spiramycin if it is consumed while being treated with spiramycin and may cause an increase in serious side effects. Avoid grapefruit juice while taking spiramycin.
Liver function: People with reduced liver function or liver disease should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Overgrowth of organisms: During prolonged or repeated treatment with spiramycin, other bacteria or fungi may be allowed to overgrow. If your condition worsens or does not improve in appropriate amount of time, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking spiramycin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between spiramycin and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.