Erythromycin is in a group of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Erythromycin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria. It is also used to prevent bacterial endocarditis and attacks of rheumatic fever.
Dosage and direction
Take erythromycin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Erythromycin can be taken on an empty stomach or with food or milk. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an enteric-coated or delayed-release pill. Swallow the pill whole.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhoea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhoea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhoea unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to erythromycin, or if you are also taking cisapride (Propulsid) or pimozide (Orap). If you have liver disease or myasthenia gravis, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take erythromycin. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Erythromycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Possible side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to erythromycin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: chest pain, uneven heartbeats, feeling light-headed or fainting; nausea, stomach pain, low fever, lost appetite, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or diarrhoea that is watery or bloody. Less serious erythromycin side effects may include mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, or stomach pain; dizziness, headache, feeling tired; vaginal itching or discharge; or mild itching or skin rash.
Many drugs can interact with erythromycin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, or hearing loss.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.