Erythromycin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It may also be used to prevent certain bacterial infections. Erythromycin is known as a macrolide antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.This antibiotic treats or prevents only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
How to use Erythromycin
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually before a meal. This medication is best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach. If nausea occurs, you may take it with food or milk.
This medication has a bitter taste if crushed. Swallow the medication whole. Do not chew or crush.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on age and weight.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
If you are using this medication to treat an infection, continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
If you are taking this medication to prevent certain bacterial infections, take it exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking the medication without your doctor’s approval.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain/cramping, and loss of appetite may occur. Taking this medication with food may lessen these symptoms. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of liver disease (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain), unusual tiredness, muscle weakness, trouble speaking, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, hearing loss.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have any of these symptoms because these products may make them worse.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.