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Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required
Last Updated: December 14, 2018

Erythromycin, a macrolide antibiotic is useful for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections. This includes skin infections, respiratory tract infections, chlamydia infections, syphilis and pelvic inflammatory disease. Streptococcal infection in newborns can be prevented by taking this medicine during pregnancy.Erythromycinmay also be used to improve delayed stomach emptying. It can be given intravenously and orally. This medicine is not supposed to be given to a child without a doctor's advice.

Erythromycin also has a few side effects. Common side effects include diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. More serious side effects may include liver problems, allergic reactions and prolonged QT.

To make sureErythromycinis safe for you, tell your physician if you have the following:

  • kidney or liver disease;
  • myasthenia gravis;
  • electrolytic imbalance (such as low potassium or magnesium levels in your blood);
  • a history of Long QT syndrome;
  • if you are breastfeeding a baby or;
  • if you take medicines for heart rhythm disorder.

Your doctor may have to change your treatment plan if you use drugs such as cisapride, pimozide, ergotamine or dihyfroergotamine as these drugs interfere with the proper functioning ofErythromycin

Erythromycinusually is taken every 6 hours (four times a day), every 8 hours (three times a day), or every 12 hours (twice a day). Skipping doses should be avoided as it may increase your risk of further infection which is resistant to antibiotics.

Information given here is based on the salt and content of the medicine. Effect and uses of medicine may vary from person to person. It is advicable to consult a Internal Medicine Specialist before using this medicine.

  • Pneumonia

    Erythromycin is used in the treatment of Pneumonia which is a common type of lung infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae.
  • Ear Infection (Otitis Media)

    Erythromycin is used in the treatment if Otitis Media which is an ear infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae.
  • Bronchitis

    Erythromycin is used in the treatment of Bronchitis which is an inflammation in lungs caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and some Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
  • Pertussis

    Erythromycin is used in the treatment of Pertussis which is commonly referred to as whooping cough. It is caused by Bordetella pertussis.
  • Prophylaxis For Rheumatic Fever

    Erythromycin is used as prophylaxis for rheumatic fever which is an inflammatory disease that can cause strep throat caused by streptococcus bacteria.
  • Allergy

    Avoid taking this medicine if you have a known allergy to it or any other macrolides.
  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 4 to 6 hours.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed within 3 hours of oral administration.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    Clear data is not available regarding the use of this medicine in pregnant women. Use only if the benefits outweigh the risks and if no other safer alternative is available.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    A small amount of this medicine is excreted in human breast milk. Use only if benefits outweigh the risks and if no other safer alternative is available. Monitoring of diarrhea, thrush and diaper rash is necessary.
  • Missed Dose instructions

    The missed dose can be taken as soon as you remember. However, the missed dose should be skipped if it is almost time for your next dose.
  • Overdose instructions

    Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Erythromycin as ingredient

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Erythromycin is a macrolide antimicrobial that works by passively diffusing through cell membranes and reversibly binding to the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome. This prevents protein synthesis in the bacterial cells which can either stop their growth or cause death.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Disease

    Impaired Liver Function

    Erythromycin should be used with caution in the patients with a history of liver disease. Frequent monitoring of liver function tests is necessary. Dose adjustments are to be made based on the severity of liver injury.

    Qt Prolongation

    Inform your doctor if you have arrhythmia, any heart disease or drugs that prolong QT interval such as psychiatric drugs and anti-arrhythmic drugs.

    Myasthenia Gravis

    Erythromycin should be used with caution in the patients with the history of Myasthenia Gravis as it may aggravate the weakness in these patients. Dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be prescribed based on the medical condition.
  • Interaction with Alcohol


    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Interaction with Lab Test


    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Food

    Food/Grapefruit juice

    Take Erythromycin at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after meals. Consumption of grapefruit juice is not recommended as it may increase the concentration of Erythromycin and can cause undesired effects.
  • Interaction with Medicine


    Erythromycin may increase the blood levels of clonazepam. Any symptoms of drowsiness, anxiety and breathing difficulties should be reported to the doctor. Operating heavy machinery or driving a vehicle should be avoided. Dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.


    Combined use of these medicines may increase the risk of irregular heartbeats and also may increase the blood levels of amiodarone. Any symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, fast heartbeats should be reported to the doctor. An alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.


    Contact your doctor if you notice irregular heartbeat, nausea, tightness in the chest or blurred vision. Also, inform your doctor about all your medications.

    Ethinyl Estradiol

    The desired effect of contraceptive pills will not be achieved if these medicines are taken together. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement of the medicine should be made under the doctor's supervision.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Table of Content
About Erythromycin
What are the uses of Erythromycin
What are the contraindications of Erythromycin ?
What are the side effects of Erythromycin ?
Key highlights of Erythromycin
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Erythromycin approved?
Medicines containing Erythromycin
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Erythromycin ?