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Why is this medication prescribed?

Infections of the respiratory tract, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease (a type of lung infection), and pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria (a serious throat infection), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as syphilis, as well as ear, intestine, gynaecological, urinary tract, and skin infections are among the infections that can be treated with erythromycin. It is also used to stop reoccurring rheumatic fever. Erythromycin is a member of the macrolide antibiotics drug class. It functions by halting bacterial growth.

Colds, the flu, or any other viral infections will not be treated by antibiotics like erythromycin. Antibiotic use that is not necessary raises the likelihood of developing a later infection that is resistant to antibiotic treatment.

How should this medicine be used?

Erythromycin is available as a capsule, tablet, delayed-release capsule (releases the drug in the intestine to avoid stomach acids from breaking it down), delayed-release tablet, and an oral solution (liquid) to be taken orally. Typically, it is consumed with or without meals every six hours (four times per day), every eight hours (three times per day), or every twelve hours (twice a day). Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Just as prescribed, take erythromycin. Never take it in quantities or frequencies other than those recommended by your doctor.

Before each use, thoroughly shake the suspension to combine the medication.

Do not measure your dose if you are taking the suspension with a regular spoon. Use the cup, dropper, or measuring spoon that came with the medicine, or a spoon designed just for measuring medicine.

Do not chew or crush the capsules or tablets; instead, swallow them whole with a full glass of water.

Even if you feel well, keep taking erythromycin. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking erythromycin.

Other uses for this medicine

When people are getting dental work done or undergoing other procedures, erythromycin is occasionally given to prevent heart infections. Discuss the potential dangers of using this medicine for your illness with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking erythromycin,

  • If you have an allergy to erythromycin, any other drugs, or any of the substances in erythromycin capsules, tablets, or suspension, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. For a list of the chemicals, consult your chemist or the manufacturer’s patient information.
  • Astemizole (Hismanal) (not available in the United States), cisapride (Propulsid), dihydroergotamine (DHE 45, Migranal), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot), pimozide (Orap), or terfenadine (Seldane) are all medications you should disclose to your doctor if you take them (not available in the U.S.). If you are taking one or more of these drugs, your doctor generally won’t let you take erythromycin.
  • Inform your doctor and chemist about all prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Any of the following should be mentioned: Amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet, in Lotrel), alprazolam (Xanax), and anticoagulants (sometimes known as “blood thinners”) such warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), cilostazol (Pletal), bromocriptine (Cycloset), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), dofetilide (Tikosyn), digoxin (Lanoxin), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Diltzac, Tiazac), disopyramide (Norpace), lovastatin (Altoprev), midazolam, and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra), quinidine, simvastatin (Zocor, in Vytorin), sotalol (Betapace), and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote), verapamil (Calan, Covera, in Tarka, Verelan) (Calan, Covera, in Tarka, Verelan). triazolam with theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theochron, Theo-Dur) (Halcion). Tell your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, even any not on this list, as many other drugs may interact with erythromycin. The dosage of your drugs may need to be adjusted, and your health may need to be closely watched for any negative effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had liver illness, an irregular heartbeat, low blood levels of magnesium or potassium, or prolonged QT interval (a rare cardiac condition that may cause fainting or an irregular heartbeat).
  • Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking erythromycin.
  • Be sure to inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking erythromycin if you are undergoing surgery, including dental surgery.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

There may be negative effects from erythromycin. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Uneasy stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Reduced appetite

Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Get emergency medical care if you encounter any of the following symptoms, or call your doctor right away:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Wheezing
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Dark faeces
  • Light stools
  • Strange fatigue
  • Stomach ache in the top right corner
  • Seizures
  • Hammering, rapid, or erratic heartbeat
  • Severe diarrhoea (bloody or watery stools), which may or may not be accompanied by fever and cramping (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

To make sure that pets, kids, and other people cannot take leftover pharmaceuticals, they should be disposed of in a specific manner. You shouldn’t flush this medication down the toilet, though. The best option to get rid of your medication is instead through a medication take-back programme. To find out about take-back initiatives in your neighbourhood, speak with your chemist or get in touch with your city’s waste/recycling agency. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, you can find more information at the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website (

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor how you are responding to the erythromycin, your doctor will request a few lab tests.

No one else should take your medication. It’s likely that your prescription cannot be renewed. Call your doctor if you continue to experience infection symptoms after taking the erythromycin has been finished.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • EES®
  • ERY-C®
  • Ery-Tab®
  • Erythrocin®
  • PCE®
  • Pediamycin®
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