What is erythromycin?
Erythromycin belongs to a group of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Macrolide antibiotics slow the growth of, or sometimes kill, sensitive bacteria by reducing the production of important proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.
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.
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with erythromycin. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use cisapride, pimozide, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine.
Before you take erythromycin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, myasthenia gravis, a heart rhythm disorder, a history of Long QT syndrome, or low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.
Take this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Erythromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking erythromycin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Before taking this medicine
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:
ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
liver or kidney disease;
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 erythromycin 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.