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Erythromycin Base Filmtab

Erythromycin Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD


Last reviewed on RxList 10/05/2015

Erythromycin Base Filmtab (erythromycin) is a member of the macrolide group of antibiotics enclosed within a unique film coating of a tablet that is for oral administration. Erythromycin Base Filmtab is available as a generic termed erythromycin base and stearate. Erythromycin Base Filmtab is used to treat people that are infected with organisms susceptible to erythromycin. Some of the diseases Erythromycin Base Filmtab treats are mild to moderate upper and lower respiratory tract infections, listeriosis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), skin infections and many others. However, it is recommended that all organisms be proven susceptible to any antibiotic used, including Erythromycin Base Filmtab. The most common side effects of Erythromycin Base Filmtabs are gastrointestinal; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and anorexia.

Erythromycin Base Filmtab is available in two strengths, 250 and 500 mg tablets. The adult dose is one 250 mg tablet 4 times per day with a maximum dose of 4 grams per 24 hours while the 500 mg tablet is twice a day (total doses over 1 gram per day should be divided into 4 doses per 24 hours). Pediatric doses range from 30 to 50 mg/Kg/day (milligrams per Kilogram per 24 hours), but should not to exceed 4g per day. Patients are advised to take Erythromycin Base Filmtab tablets without food, at least ½ hour up to 2 hrs (the preferred time interval) before eating food. Individual dosage is determined by the prescribing doctor, usually based on likely susceptibilities of pathogens found in the community. Common side effects of Erythromycin Base Filmtab may progress to severe symptoms (see above); other severe side effects include pseudomembranous colitis, allergic reactions, QT prolongation, and life-threatening arrhythmias. Most, but not all, of these severe symptoms have been associated with the higher drug doses. Erythromycin Base Filmtabs can increase the toxicity of other drugs such as Lanoxin (digoxin) and theophylline or to increase the effects of many other drugs such as benzodiazepines and Viagra (sildenafil). Caution is advised by government agencies for use of this drug in pregnancy or in women breastfeeding infants, as there are no good studies in humans that indicate the drug is safe, although animal studies suggest it is safe to use in pregnant rats and that some drug is present in breast milk.

Our Erythromycin Base Filmtabs Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Erythromycin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


The most frequent side effects of oral erythromycin preparations are gastrointestinal and are dose-related. They include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and anorexia. Symptoms of hepatitis, hepatic dysfunction and/or abnormal liver function test results may occur. (See WARNINGS.)

Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibacterial treatment. (See WARNINGS.) Erythromycin has been associated with QT prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias, including ventricular tachycardia and torsades de pointes.

Allergic reactions ranging from urticaria to anaphylaxis have occurred. Skin reactions ranging from mild eruptions to erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported rarely.

There have been rare reports of pancreatitis and convulsions.

There have been isolated reports of reversible hearing loss occurring chiefly in patients with renal insufficiency and in patients receiving high doses of erythromycin.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Erythromycin (Erythromycin Tablets)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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