Erythromycin is used treating infections caused by certain bacteria. It is also used to prevent bacterial endocarditis and attacks of rheumatic fever. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How to take
Use Erythromycin as directed by your doctor.
- Take Erythromycin by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- Swallow Erythromycin whole. Do not break, crush, or ch ew before swallowing.
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you use Erythromycin.
- Erythromycin works best if taken at the same times each day.
- To clear up your infection completely, take Erythromycin for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic. Macrolide antibiotics slow the growth of, or sometimes kill, sensitive bacteria by reducing the production of important proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.
If you miss a dose of Erythromycin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Erythromycin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Erythromycin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not use Erythromycin if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Erythromycin;
- you are taking astemizole, cisapride, cyclosporine, diltiazem, dofetilide, ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine), HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir), imidazoles (e.g., ketoconazole), pimozide, QT prolonging agents (e.g., quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin), streptogramins (e.g., quinupristin/dalfopristin), sumatriptan, terfenadine, or verapamil.
Some medical conditions may interact with Erythromycin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have diarrhea or a stomach or intestinal infection
- if you have a history of kidney or liver disease, heart problems, fast or irregular heartbeat, myasthenia gravis, or the blood disorder porphyria
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Erythromycin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Efavirenz or rifampin because they may decrease Erythromycin 's effectiveness
- Arsenic, cimetidine,diltiazem,dofetilide,HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole), pimozide,QT-prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), streptogramins (eg, quinupristin/dalfopristin ), or verapamil because side effects, such as heart toxicity or irregular heartbeat, may occur
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aldosterone blockers (eg, spironolactone), alfentanil, arsenic, astemizole, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), bromocriptine, buspirone, carbamazepine, cilostazol, cisapride, clozapine, corticosteroids (eg, hydrocortisone), cyclosporine, digitoxin, digoxin, disopyramide, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), felodipine, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin), imatinib, macrolide immunosuppressants (eg, tacrolimus), meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), midazolam, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil), pimozide, QT-prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), rifampin, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine), sumatriptan, theophyllines, tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), valproic acid, or vinca alkaloids (eg, vincristine) because the risk of their side effects may increased by Erythromycin
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.
- severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; hearing changes; irregular heartbeat; red, swollen, or blistered skin; severe diarrhea; severe stomach pain or cramps; yellowing of skin or eyes.
Erythromycin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.