IndicationsErythromycin is an antibiotic used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as bronchitis; diphtheria; Legionnaires' disease; pertussis (whooping cough); pneumonia; rheumatic fever; venereal disease (VD); and ear, intestine, lung, urinary tract, and skin infections. It is also used before some surgery or dental work to prevent infection. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
DoseringErythromycin comes as a capsule, tablet, long-acting capsule, long-acting tablet, chewable tablet, liquid, and pediatric drops to take by mouth. It usually is taken every 6 hours (four times a day) or every 8 hours (three times a day) for 7 to 21 days. Some infections may require a longer time. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take erythromycin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Shake the liquid and pediatric drops well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the bottle dropper to measure the dose of pediatric drops. The chewable tablets should be crushed or chewed thoroughly before they are swallowed. The other capsules and tablets should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water. Continue to take erythromycin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking erythromycin without talking to your doctor.
VoorzichtigBefore taking erythromycin, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to erythromycin, azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), or any other drugs. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other antibiotics, anticoagulants ('blood thinners'), astemizole (Hismanal), carbamazepine (Tegretol), cisapride (Propulsid), clozapine (clozaril), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), ergotamine, felodipine (Plendil), lovastatin (Mevacor), phenytoin (Dilantin), pimozide (Orap), terfenadine (Seldane), theophylline (Theo-Dur), triazolam (Halcion), and vitamins. tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, yellowing of the skin or eyes, colitis, or stomach problems. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking erythromycin.
Erythromycin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- stomach cramps
- mild skin rash
- stomach pain
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe skin rash
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark urine
- pale stools
- unusual tiredness
- vaginal infection
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch
] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].