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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 8 ( August, 2021 ) > List of Articles


Clarithromycin-induced Seizures and Status Epilepticus

Raghavendra Seetharam, Rajesh B Iyer, Javeria Nooraine, Jaychandran Ramachandran

Keywords : Adverse effects, Antibiotics, Clarithromycin, Neurotoxicity, Nonconvulsive status epilepticus

Citation Information : Seetharam R, Iyer RB, Nooraine J, Ramachandran J. Clarithromycin-induced Seizures and Status Epilepticus. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (8):945-947.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23900

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 12-08-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Clarithromycin is a commonly used antibiotic. Neuropsychiatric adverse effects are recognized, but the occurrence of seizures and status epilepticus (SE) has been rarely reported. We report the case of an elderly patient who developed generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) followed by nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE), 2 days after starting clarithromycin. Other causes of seizures were excluded by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, CSF analysis, and routine laboratory studies, thus establishing the causal role of clarithromycin. Clarithromycin was stopped and parenteral antiepileptic drugs started, which controlled the status. In the elderly, symptoms like delirium, drowsiness, confusion, or seizures can occur due to an underlying systemic disease, brain pathology, or adverse effects of medications, all of which must be correctly differentiated. This case illustrates the occurrence of seizures and SE due to clarithromycin. Awareness about this possibility will help physicians recognize and treat such situations promptly.

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