Erythromycin, Oral

Brand names: E.E.S. 200 Liquid, E.E.S. 400 Filmtab, Eramycin, Eryc, EryPed, Erythrocin, E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, Ilosone, PCE, Rooimycin Robitabs.

Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. 

Quick Facts About Erythromycin

Purpose

Used to treat several infections including: chlamydia, diphtheria, ear infections, gonorrhea, intestinal infections, Legionnaires’ disease, rheumatic fever, skin infections, syphilis, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, whooping cough. Also used to prevent heart infections.

Erythromycin Dosage

Take exact|y as prescribed. Can take with or without food; however, food may decrease the effectiveness. In those cases your doctor will suggest taking this medication 30 minutes to 2 hours before or after meals. For maximum effectiveness there should be a constant amount of Erythromycin in the blood — strictly adhere to dose schedule.

  • Usual adult dose: for streptococcal infections — 250 milligrams every 6 hours, 333 milligrams every 8 hours, or 500 milligrams every 12 hours. May be increased up to 4 grams per day. For streptococcal infections of the upper respiratory tract — take for 10 days. To prevent recurrence of rheumatic fever — 250 milligrams 2 times per day. For gonorrhea — 3 grams in a single oral dose. To prevent bacterial endocarditis — 1 gram taken 30 minutes to 2 hours before dental surgery or surgical procedures of the upper respiratory tract, followed by 500 milligrams every 6 hours, for 8 doses. For urinary tract infections due to chlamydia during pregnancy — 500 milligrams orally 4 times per day, or 666 milligrams every 8 hours on an empty stomach for 7 days. Decreased dose — 500 milligrams every 8 hours, or 250 milligrams 4 times per day for 14 days. For uncomplicated urinary tract or rectal infections caused by chlamydia when tetracycline is not tolerated — 500 milligrams 4 times per day, or 333 milligrams every 8 hours for at least 7 days. For nongonococcal urethral infections when tetracycline is not tolerated — 500 milligrams 4 times per day, or 666 milligrams every 8 hours for at least 7 days. For syphilis — 30 to 40 grams divided into smaller doses over 10 to 15 days. For intestinal infections — 500 milligrams every 12 hours, 333 milligrams every 8 hours, or 250 milligrams every 6 hours for 10 to 14 days. For Legionnaires’ disease — 1 to 4 grams daily, divided into smaller doses for 21 days.
  • Usual child dose: 30 to 50 milligrams per day for each 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into equal doses. For more severe infections — double dose, not to exceed 4 grams per day. For children over 44 pounds — follow adult dose schedule. For conjunctivitis in newborn caused by chlamydia — 50 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into 4 doses for at least 2 weeks. For pneumonia in infants caused by chlamydia — 50 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into 4 doses for at least 3 weeks. For whooping cough — 40 to 50 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into smaller doses for 5 to 14 days.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. If so, skip missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Erythromycin Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting.

Less common Erythromycin side effects: hives, rash, skin eruptions, yellow eyes and skin. Rare side effects: chest pain, confusion, dizziness, hallucinations, hearing loss (temporary), inflammation of large intestine, palpitations, rapid heartbeat, seizures, severe allergic reaction, vertigo.

Interactions

Inform your doctor before combining Erythromycin with:

alfentanil (Alfenta), astemizole (Hisminal), blood thinners such as Coumadin, bromocriptine (Parlodel), carbamazepine (Tegretol), cyclosporine (Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), ergotamine (Cafergot), felodipine (Plendil), hexobarbital, lovastatin (Mevacor), Midazolam (Versed), other antibiotics, penicillin (Amoxil or Omnipen), phenytoin (Dilantin), terfenadine (Seldane), theophylline (Theo-Dur), triazolam (Halcion).

No known food/other substance interactions.

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Seniors should use with caution.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children.

  • Inform your doctor before taking erythromycin if you have or had liver disease.
  • Should not use if sensitive to or allergic to this medication.
  • May cause new infections that need to be treated with a different antibiotic.

Note:

HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Erythromycin side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.