Objectives: We have reported increased 2.6-year mortality in clarithromycin- versus placebo-exposed stable coronary heart disease patients, but meta-analysis of randomized trials in coronary heart disease patients showed no significant effect of antibiotics on mortality. Here we report the 6-year mortality of clarithromycin- versus placebo-exposed patients and updated meta-analyses. Methods: Centrally randomized, placebo controlled multicenter trial. All parties were blinded. Analyses were by intention to treat. Meta-analyses followed the Cochrane Collaboration methodology. Results: We randomized 4,372 patients with stable coronary heart disease to clarithromycin 500 mg (n = 2,172) or placebo (n = 2,200) once daily for 2 weeks. Mortality was followed through public register. Nine hundred and twenty-three patients (21.1%) died. Six-year mortality was significantly higher in the clarithromycin group (hazard ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.38). Adjustment for entry characteristics (sex, age, prior myocardial infarction, center, and smoking) did not change the results (1.18, 1.04-1.35). Addition of our data to that of other randomized trials on antibiotics for patients with coronary heart disease versus placebo/no intervention (17 trials, 25,271 patients, 1,877 deaths) showed a significantly increased relative risk of death from antibiotics of 1.10 (1.01-1.20) without heterogeneity. Conclusions: Our results stress the necessity to consider carefully the strength of the indication before administering antibiotics to patients with coronary heart disease.