What is Ketek?
Ketek (telithromycin) is anantibiotic medication that is used to treat certain respiratory infectionscaused by bacteria, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. While Ketek kills many types of bacteria thatinfect the lungs and sinuses, it does not kill viruses, such as those thatcause the common cold.
Ketek is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis and was approved by the U.S. Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) in April 2004.
There have been reports of severe liver disease associatedwith Ketek use. In some cases, liverdamage occurred or worsened rapidly after just a few doses of Ketek. If you develop signs or symptoms of hepatitis(liver disease), such as tiredness, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, jaundice(yellow color of the skin and/or eyes), dark urine, light-colored stools, itchyskin, or belly pains, stop using Ketek and contact your healthcare professionalimmediately.
If you have myasthenia gravis, talk to your healthcare professionalabout other treatments before taking Ketek. If you are taking Ketek and your myasthenia gravis symptoms worsen (suchas muscle weakness or difficulty breathing), you should stop taking Ketek andseek immediate medical attention.
General Precautions with Ketek
You must not take Ketek if you:
- have ever had a severe allergic reaction to (or have experienced liver-related side effects while taking) Ketek or any antibiotics known as "macrolides," such as erythromycin, azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin) or dirithromycin (Dynabac)
- are currently taking cisapride (Propulsid) or pimozide (Orap)
Ketek may cause vision problems, particularly when lookingquickly between objects close by and objects far away. Problems include blurredvision, double vision, and difficulty focusing. Although most reported problemsare mild to moderate, some patients experience severe vision problems that mayinterfere with normal activities. These problems lasted several hoursand, in some patients, repeated with subsequent doses.
If you are taking Ketek, be careful when driving a motorvehicle, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in otherwise hazardousactivities.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Professional?
Tell your healthcare professional if you:
- have (or if a relative has) a rare heart condition known as congenital prolongation of the QT interval
- are being treated for heart rhythm disturbances with certain medicines known as antiarrhythmics (such as quinidine, procainamide, or dofetilide), or if you have low blood potassium (hypokalemia), or low blood magnesium (hypomagnesemia)
- have a disease known as myasthenia gravis
- are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are nursing
- have ever experienced jaundice (yellow color of the skin and/or eyes) while taking Ketek
- have any other serious medical conditions, including heart, liver, or kidney disease
Ketek Food and DrugInteractions
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and/ornonprescription medicines you take, including vitamins, and herbalsupplements.
Especially, tell your healthcare provider if you take:
- cisapride (Propulsid) or pimozide (Orap); and simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin (used for lowering cholesterol). You should stop treatment with these medications while you are taking Ketek.
- medicines that correct heart rhythm called "antiarrhythmics" (such as quinidine, procainamide, or dofetilide)
- any of the following medicines
- ergot alkaloid derivatives
- warfarin and other oral anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners)
- diuretics (also sometimes called water pills) such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide
What Are the Side Effects Associated with Ketek?
Ketek may cause side effects. Tell your healthcare professional if any ofthe following symptoms are severe and/or persistent:
- upset stomach
- loose stools
- changes in ability to taste
- blurred vision
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any ofthese symptoms call your healthcare professional immediately:
- rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Ketek - Getting Legal Help
While all medications have certain anticipated side effects,a drug manufacturer has a duty to make its products as reasonably safe aspossible, and to inform the medical community and the public of known risksassociated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be heldlegally responsible if patients are injured as the result of inadequatewarnings or the unreasonably dangerous nature of the drug, under a legal theorycalled "product liability."
If you or a loved one haveexperienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while using Ketek,you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. You mayalso wish to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and toprotect your right to a legal remedy for any injuries caused by Ketek use.