Drugs A - Z

Erythromycin Oral tablet, gastro-resistant pellets

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections

Generic Name: erythromycin

What is this medicine?

ERYTHROMYCIN (er ith roe MYE sin) is a macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • liver disease
  • myasthenia gravis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to erythromycin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not chew or crush. You can take this medicine on an empty stomach or with food or milk. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your doctor even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • chloroquine
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • eplerenone
  • ergotamine and dihydroergotamine
  • methadone
  • other antibiotics, like grepafloxacin or sparfloxacin
  • sirolimus
  • some medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin, cerivastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin
  • some medicines for heart rhythm problems
  • some medicines for psychotic disturbances
  • vinblastine
  • red yeast rice

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alfentanil
  • bromocriptine
  • carbamazepine
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • some medicines for anxiety or difficulty sleeping
  • phenytoin
  • terfenadine
  • theophylline
  • valproate
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • dark urine
  • difficulty breathing
  • hearing loss
  • irregular heartbeat or chest pain
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • severe or watery diarrhea
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: April 21, 2009
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