Erythromycin is produced by a strain of Saccharopolyspora erythraea (formerly Streptomyces erythraeus) and belongs to the macrolide group of antibiotics. It is basic and readily forms salts with acids. The base, the stearate salt, and the esters are poorly soluble in water. Erythromycin ethylsuccinate is an ester of erythromycin suitable for oral administration. Erythromycin ethylsuccinate is known chemically as erythromycin 2'-(ethyl succinate). The molecular formula is C43H75NO16 and the molecular weight is 862.06. The structural formula is:
Ery-Ped 200 (erythromycin ethylsuccinate for oral suspension) when reconstituted with water, forms a suspension containing erythromycin ethylsuccinate equivalent to 200 mg erythromycin per 5 mL (teaspoonful) or 100 mg per 2.5 mL (dropperful) with an appealing fruit flavor. Ery-Ped 400 when reconstituted with water, forms a suspension containing erythromycin ethylsuccinate equivalent to 400 mg of erythromycin per 5 mL (teaspoonful) with an appealing banana flavor.
These products are intended primarily for pediatric use but can also be used in adults.
Ery-Ped 200, Ery-Ped 400: Caramel, polysorbate, sodium citrate, sucrose, xanthan gum and artificial flavors.
To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Ery-Ped and other antibacterial drugs, Ery-Ped should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.
Ery-Ped is indicated in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible strains of the designated organisms in the diseases listed below:
Upper respiratory tract infections of mild to moderate degree caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or Haemophilus influenzae (when used concomitantly with adequate doses of sulfonamides, since many strains of H. influenzae are not susceptible to the erythromycin concentrations ordinarily achieved). (See appropriate sulfonamide labeling for prescribing information.)
Lower-respiratory tract infections of mild to moderate severity caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae or Streptococcus pyogenes.
Listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes.
Pertussis (whooping cough) caused by Bordetella pertussis. Erythromycin is effective in eliminating the organism from the nasopharynx of infected individuals rendering them noninfectious. Some clinical studies suggest that erythromycin may be helpful in the prophylaxis of pertussis in exposed susceptible individuals.
Respiratory tract infections due to Mycoplasma pneumoniiae.
Skin and skin structure infections of mild to moderate severity caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus (resistant staphylococci may emerge during treatment).
Infections due to Corynebacterium diphtheriae, as an adjunct to antitoxin, to prevent establishment of carriers and to eradicate the organism in carriers.
In the treatment of infections due to Corynebacterium minutissimum.
Intestinal amebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica (oral erythromycins only). Extraenteric amebiasis requires treatment with other agents.
Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Caused By Neisseria gonorrhoeae
As an alternative drug in treatment of acute pelvic inflammatory disease caused by N. gonorrhoeae in female patients with a history of sensitivity to penicillin. Patients should have a serologic test for syphilis before receiving erythromycin as treatment of gonorrhea and a follow-up serologic test for syphilis after 3 months.
Syphilis Caused by Treponema pallidum
Erythromycin is an alternate choice of treatment for primary syphilis in penicillin-allergic patients. In primary syphilis, spinal fluid examinations should be done before treatment and as part of follow-up after therapy.
Erythromycins Are Indicated For The Treatment Of The Following Infections Caused By Chlamydia trachomatis
Conjunctivitis of the newborn, pneumonia of infancy, and urogenital infections during pregnancy. When tetracyclines are contraindicated or not tolerated, erythromycin is indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated urethral, endocervical, or rectal infections in adults due to Chlamydia trachomatis.
When tetracyclines are contraindicated or not tolerated, erythromycin is indicated for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum.
Legionnaires' Disease caused by Legionella pneumophila. Although no controlled clinical efficacy studies have been conducted, in vitro and limited preliminary clinical data suggest that erythromycin may be effective in treating Legionnaires' Disease.
Prevention Of Initial Attacks Of Rheumatic Fever
Penicillin is considered by the American Heart Association to be the drug of choice in the prevention of initial attacks of rheumatic fever (treatment of Streptococcus pyogenes infections of the upper respiratory tract, e.g., tonsillitis or pharyngitis). Erythromycin is indicated for the treatment of penicillin-allergic patients.1 The therapeutic dose should be administered for 10 days.
Prevention Of Recurrent Attacks Of Rheumatic Fever
Penicillin or sulfonamides are considered by the American Heart Association to be the drugs of choice in the prevention of recurrent attacks of rheumatic fever. In patients who are allergic to penicillin and sulfonamides, oral erythromycin is recommended by the American Heart Association in the long-term prophylaxis of Streptococcal pharyngitis (for the prevention of recurrent attacks of rheumatic fever).1
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Ery-Ped (erythromycin ethylsuccinate) oral suspensions may be administered without regard to meals.
Age, weight, and severity of the infection are important factors in determining the proper dosage. In mild to moderate infections, the usual dosage of erythromycin ethylsuccinate for children is 30 to 50 mg/kg/day in equally divided doses every 6 hours. For more severe infections this dosage may be doubled. If twice-a-day dosage is desired, one-half of the total daily dose may be given every 12 hours. Doses may also be given three times daily by administering one-third of the total daily dose every 8 hours.
The following dosage schedule is suggested for mild to moderate infections:
|Body Weight||Total Daily Dose|
|Under 10 lbs||30-50 mg/kg/day 15-25 mg/lb/day|
|10 to 15 lbs||200 mg|
|16 to 25 lbs||400 mg|
|26 to 50 lbs||800 mg|
|51 to 100 lbs||1200 mg|
|over 100 lbs||1600 mg|
400 mg erythromycin ethylsuccinate every 6 hours is the usual dose. Dosage may be increased up to 4 g per day according to the severity of the infection. If twice-a-day dosage is desired, one-half of the total daily dose may be given every 12 hours. Doses may also be given three times daily by administering one-third of the total daily dose every 8 hours.
For adult dosage calculation, use a ratio of 400 mg of erythromycin activity as the ethylsuccinate to 250 mg of erythromycin activity as the stearate, base or estolate.
In the treatment of streptococcal infections, a therapeutic dosage of erythromycin ethylsuccinate should be administered for at least 10 days. In continuous prophylaxis against recurrences of streptococcal infections in persons with a history of rheumatic heart disease, the usual dosage is 400 mg twice a day.
For Treatment Of Urethritis Due To C. trachomatis Or U. urealyticum
800 mg three times a day for 7 days.
For Treatment Of Primary Syphilis
48 to 64 g given in divided doses over a period of 10 to 15 days
For Intestinal Amebiasis
400 mg four times daily for 10 to 14 days.
30 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses for 10 to 14 days.
For Use In Pertussis
Although optimal dosage and duration have not been established, doses of erythromycin utilized in reported clinical studies were 40 to 50 mg/kg/day, given in divided doses for 5 to 14 days.
For Treatment Of Legionnaires' Disease
Although optimal doses have not been established, doses utilized in reported clinical data were 1.6 to 4 g daily in divided doses.
Ery-Ped 200 (erythromycin ethylsuccinate for oral suspension, USP) is supplied in bottles of 100 mL (NDC 24338-132-13)
Ery-Ped 400 (erythromycin ethylsuccinate for oral suspension, USP) is supplied in bottles of 100 mL (NDC 24338-130-13)
Store Ery-Ped 200 and Ery-Ped 400, prior to mixing, below 86°F (30°C). After reconstitution, Ery-Ped 200 and Ery-Ped 400 must be stored at or below 77°F (25°C) and used within 35 days; refrigeration is not required.
1. Committee on Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, the American Heart Association: Prevention of Rheumatic Fever. Circulation. 78(4):1082-1086, October 1988.
Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Atlanta, GA 30328, (Nos. 6302, 6305). Â Revised: Mar 2019
The following clinically significant adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:
- Potential Risk of Myocardial Infarction with Long-Term Use [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Gastrointestinal-Related Adverse Reactions in Opioid-Tolerant Patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions in Patients with Severe Hepatic Impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions in Patients with Complete Gastrointestinal Obstruction [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions in Pancreatic and Gastric Anastomoses [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be compared directly with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice. The adverse event information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.
The data described below reflect exposure to ENTEREG 12 mg in 1,793 patients in 10 placebo-controlled studies. The population was 19 to 97 years old, 64% were female, and 84% were Caucasian; 64% were undergoing a surgery that included bowel resection. The first dose of ENTEREG was administered 30 minutes to 5 hours before the scheduled start of surgery and then twice daily until hospital discharge (or for a maximum of 7 days of postoperative treatment).
Among ENTEREG-treated patients undergoing surgeries that included a bowel resection, the most common adverse reaction (incidence ≥1.5%) occurring with a higher frequency than placebo was dyspepsia (ENTEREG, 1.5%; placebo, 0.8%). Adverse reactions are events that occurred after the first dose of study medication treatment and within 7 days of the last dose of study medication or events present at baseline that increased in severity after the start of study medication treatment.
Effects Of Alvimopan On Intravenous Morphine
Coadministration of alvimopan does not appear to alter the pharmacokinetics of morphine and its metabolite, morphine-6-glucuronide, to a clinically significant degree when morphine is administered intravenously. Dosage adjustment for intravenously administered morphine is not necessary when it is coadministered with ENTEREG.
Effects Of Concomitant Acid Blockers Or Antibiotics
A population pharmacokinetic analysis suggests that the pharmacokinetics of alvimopan were not affected by concomitant administration of acid blockers (proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), histamine-2 (H2) receptor antagonists) or antibiotics. No dosage adjustments are necessary in patients taking acid blockers or antibiotics with ENTEREG.
There have been reports of hepatic dysfunction, including increased liver enzymes, and hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis, with or without jaundice, occurring in patients receiving oral erythromycin products.
Erythromycin has been associated with prolongation of the QT interval and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Cases of torsades de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving erythromycin. Fatalities have been reported. Erythromycin should be avoided in patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, patients with ongoing proarrhythmic conditions such as uncorrected hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, clinically significant bradycardia, and in patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide) or Class III (dofetilide, amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents. Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval.
Syphilis In Pregnancy
There have been reports suggesting that erythromycin does not reach the fetus in adequate concentration to prevent congenital syphilis. Infants born to women treated during pregnancy with oral erythromycin for early syphilis should be treated with an appropriate penicillin regimen.
Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including Ery-Ped, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Serious adverse reactions have been reported in patients taking erythromycin concomitantly with CYP3A4 substrates. These include colchicine toxicity with colchicine; rhabdomyolysis with simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin; and hypotension with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g. verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem) (see DRUG INTERACTIONS).
There have been post-marketing reports of colchicine toxicity with concomitant use of erythromycin and colchicine. This interaction is potentially life-threatening, and may occur while using both drugs at their recommended doses (see DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Rhabdomyolysis with or without renal impairment has been reported in seriously ill patients receiving erythromycin concomitantly with lovastatin. Therefore, patients receiving concomitant lovastatin and erythromycin should be carefully monitored for creatine kinase (CK) and serum transaminase levels. (See package insert for lovastatin)
Prescribing Ery-Ped in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Since erythromycin is principally excreted by the liver, caution should be exercised when erythromycin is administered to patients with impaired hepatic function. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and WARNINGS sections.)
Exacerbation of symptoms of myasthenia gravis and new onset of symptoms of myasthenic syndrome has been reported in patients receiving erythromycin therapy.
There have been reports of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) occurring in infants following erythromycin therapy. In one cohort of 157 newborns who were given erythromycin for pertussis prophylaxis, seven neonates (5%) developed symptoms of non-bilious vomiting or irritability with feeding and were subsequently diagnosed as having IHPS requiring surgical pyloromyotomy. A possible dose-response effect was described with an absolute risk of IHPS of 5.1% for infants who took erythromycin for 8-14 days and 10% for infants who took erythromycin for 15-21 days.2 Since erythromycin may be used in the treatment of conditions in infants which are associated with significant mortality or morbidity (such as pertussis or neonatal Chlamydia trachomatis infections), the benefit of erythromycin therapy needs to be weighed against the potential risk of developing IHPS. Parents should be informed to contact their physician if vomiting or irritability with feeding occurs.
Prolonged or repeated use of erythromycin may result in an overgrowth of nonsusceptible bacteria or fungi. If superinfection occurs, erythromycin should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.
When indicated, incision and drainage or other surgical procedures should be performed in conjunction with antibiotic therapy. Observational studies in humans have reported cardiovascular malformations after exposure to drug products containing erythromycin during early pregnancy.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Long-term oral dietary studies conducted with erythromycin stearate in rats up to 400 mg/kg/day and in mice up to 500 mg/kg/day (approximately 1-2 fold of the maximum human dose on a body surface area basis) did not provide evidence of tumorigenicity. Erythromycin stearate did not show genotoxic potential in the Ames, and mouse lymphoma assays or induce chromosomal aberrations in CHO cells. There was no apparent effect on male or female fertility in rats treated with erythromycin base by oral gavage at 700 mg/kg/day (approximately 3 times the maximum human dose on a body surface area basis).
There is no evidence of teratogenicity or any other adverse effect on reproduction in female rats fed erythromycin base by oral gavage at 350 mg/kg/day (approximately twice the maximum recommended human dose on a body surface area) prior to and during mating, during gestation, and through weaning. No evidence of teratogenicity or embryotoxicity was observed when erythromycin base was given by oral gavage to pregnant rats and mice at 700 mg/kg/day and to pregnant rabbits at 125 mg/kg/day (approximately 1-3 times the maximum recommended human dose).
Use In Specific Populations
Labor And Delivery
The effect of erythromycin on labor and delivery is unknown.
Erythromycin is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when erythromycin is administered to a nursing woman.
See INDICATIONS AND USAGE and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION sections.
Elderly patients, particularly those with reduced renal or hepatic function, may be at increased risk for developing erythromycin-induced hearing loss. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Elderly patients may be more susceptible to development of torsades de pointes arrhythmias than younger patients. (See WARNINGS).
Elderly patients may experience increased effects of oral anticoagulant therapy while undergoing treatment with erythromycin. (See PRECAUTIONS - DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Ery-Ped 200 contains 117.5 mg (5.1 mEq) of sodium per individual dose.
Ery-Ped 400 contains 117.5 mg (5.1 mEq) of sodium per individual dose.
Based on the 200 mg/5 mL strength, at the usual recommended doses, adult patients would receive a total of 940 mg/day (40.8 mEq) of sodium. Based on the 400 mg/5 mL strength, at the usual recommended doses, adult patients would receive a total of 470 mg/day (20.4 mEq) of sodium. The geriatric population may respond with a blunted natriuresis to salt loading. This may be clinically important with regard to such diseases as congestive heart failure.
2. Honein, M.A., et al.: Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis after pertussis prophylaxis with erythromycin: a case review and cohort study. The Lancet 1999;354 (9196): 2101-5
In case of overdosage, erythromycin should be discontinued. Overdosage should be handled with the prompt elimination of unabsorbed drug and all other appropriate measures should be instituted.
Erythromycin is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to this antibiotic.
Erythromycin is contraindicated in patients taking terfenadine, astemizole, piimozide, or cisapride. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS.)
Do not use erythromycin concomitantly with HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) that are extensively metabolized by CYP 3A4 (lovastatin or simvastatin), due to the increased risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis.
Orally administered erythromycin ethylsuccinate suspension is readily and reliably absorbed under both fasting and nonfasting conditions.
Erythromycin diffuses readily into most body fluids. Only low concentrations are normally achieved in the spinal fluid, but passage of the drug across the blood-brain barrier increases in meningitis. In the presence of normal hepatic function, erythromycin is concentrated in the liver and excreted in the bile; the effect of hepatic dysfunction on excretion of erythromycin by the liver into the bile is not known. Less than 5 percent of the orally administered dose of erythromycin is excreted in active form in the urine.
Erythromycin crosses the placental barrier, but fetal plasma levels are low. The drug is excreted in human milk.
Mechanism Of Action
Erythromycin acts by inhibition of protein synthesis by binding 50 S ribosomal subunits of susceptible organisms. It does not affect nucleic acid synthesis. Antagonism has been demonstrated in vitro between erythromycin and clindamycin, lincomycin, and chloramphenicol.
Many strains of Haemophiilus influenzae are resistant to erythromycin alone but are susceptible to erythromycin and sulfonamides used concomitantly.
Interactions With Other Antimicrobials
Staphylococci resistant to erythromycin may emerge during a course of therapy.
Erythromycin has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.
Staphylococcus aureus (resistant organisms may emerge during treatment)
The following in vitro data are available.
Erythromycin exhibits in vitro minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC's) of 0.5 μg/mL or less against most (≥ 90%) strains of the following microorganisms; however, the safety and effectiveness of erythromycin in treating clinical infections due to these microorganisms have not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.
Viridans group streptococci
For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see: https://www.fda.gov/STIC.
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including Ery-Ped should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When Ery-Ped is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by Ery-Ped or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
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.