Generic Name: erythromycin (oral/injection)
- What is erythromycin?
- What are the possible side effects of erythromycin?
- What is the most important information I should know about erythromycin?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using erythromycin?
- How should I use erythromycin?
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid while using erythromycin?
- What other drugs will affect erythromycin?
- Where can I get more information?
What is erythromycin?
Erythromycin is used to treat or prevent many different types of infections caused by bacteria.
Erythromycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of erythromycin?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
- hearing problems (rare); or
- liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults, including hearing loss, or a life-threatening fast heart rate.
Common side effects may include:
- mild diarrhea; or
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite.
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 the most important information I should know about erythromycin?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact, and some drugs should not be used together.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using erythromycin?
You should not use erythromycin if you are allergic to it.
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with erythromycin. Your doctor may change your treatment plan if you also use:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease;
- myasthenia gravis;
- a heart rhythm disorder (especially if you take medicine to treat it);
- long QT syndrome (in you or a family member); or
- an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood).
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
How should I use erythromycin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Erythromycin injection is given as an infusion into a vein, for a severe infection. A healthcare provider will give your first dose and may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Do not use erythromycin if you don't understand all instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.
Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
You must chew the chewable tablet before you swallow it.
Do not crush, chew, or break a delayed-release capsule or tablet. Swallow it whole.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Erythromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using erythromycin.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using erythromycin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.
What other drugs will affect erythromycin?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Many drugs can affect erythromycin, and some drugs should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about erythromycin.
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