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Erythromycin Prescribing Information

Erythromycin is an antibiotic (a medicine which fights against different microbes) which is used for treating different bacterial infections related to respiratory tracts such as pneumonia, bronchitis, whooping cough, lung infection (Legionnaires' disease), diphtheria, various STD like syphilis and infections of ear, intestine, urinary tract and skin. It is also used for preventing Streptococcal infections like a Rheumatic fever.

Erythromycin 250 mg

Erythromycin belongs to the class of macrolide antibiotics. It basically acts by stopping the bacterial growth. This antibiotic is not effective in viral infections like flu, cold and many more. It is advisable not taking antibiotic without any need as it increases the chance of resistance of the body by that particular antibiotic and become effective when needed in future due to any microbial infection.

It also gets easily absorbed and gets transported to the infection site making it a much efficient drug than other medicines.

Erythromycin was formerly known as Ilotycin and was first launched in 1952 and was prescribed as a generic medication. Abelardo Aguilar, while working with Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, discovered this drug in the year 1949 as part of the soil samples. The drug was first isolated in 1952 and then patented in 1953 by the same company.


The dosage of the medicine varies based on the age of the patient, weight and the medical condition that is being treated. It is better to take it as a whole by swallowing and it works best on an empty stomach. However, in case you are nauseous when taking on an empty stomach, you can have it with a light meal.

  • Erythromycin is available in the market in several forms such as a tablet, capsule, and liquid (suspension). It can be taken before or after having meals. However, you should avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice while using this medicine.
  • It can be taken in three different doses depends upon the prescription of the doctor. Erythromycin is taken at an interval of 6 hours ( four times in a day), the interval of 8 hours ( thrice a day) or at an interval of 12 hours ( two times in a day). The interval has to be evenly spaced as per doctor instruction.
  • Follow the rules strictly and carefully before starting this medication in order to prevent health-related issues. If someone is unable to understand the instructions mentioned in the leaflet at some point or the other, consultation with a doctor is mandatory.
  • Do not exceed or stop the dose of erythromycin on your own even after recovery without the permission of the doctor.
  • In case if you miss a dosage, you should not increase the dosage the next time. You have to continue with the regular schedule even if you miss a dose. Never double dose without doctor instructions.
  • If you overdose, you might suffer a seizure, breathing difficulty and sometimes one can even collapse. In such cases of overdose, please contact the nearby hospital immediately.


Erythromycin cannot be taken along with other antibiotics at the same time as it can cause serious results. The doctor should be informed if someone is taking any of these antibiotics already

  • lovastatin
  • dihydroergotamine
  • simvastatin
  • pimozide
  • cisapride
  • ergotamine

There are no specific diet instructions to be followed when taking Erythromycin unless specifically instructed by your doctor. However, the doctor should be informed if someone has the following problems:

  • kidney or liver disease- if a patient is suffering from impaired functioning of the liver, then it would require constant monitoring of the dosage and patient condition while administering Erythromycin.
  • myasthenia gravis as it can further aggravate the patient's weakness.
  • arrhythmia
  • irregular heartbeat that can cause fainting or even sudden death
  • imbalance of electrolytes such as decreased levels of magnesium or potassium blood.
  • Pregnancy or about to conceive.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should also check with the doctors prior to using this medicine.

Side effects:

Erythromycin, like other medicines, also have some unwanted effects which are harmful to a body and requires immediate medical attention.

Inform the doctor immediately if one or more of these symptoms occur

Rare side effects

  • Blister formation
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • dizziness
  • a cough
  • fast heartbeat
  • reddening of eyes
  • hives or welts
  • arthralgia or myalgia
  • red colorleisons on skin
  • edema
  • skin rash
  • a sore throat
  • drowsiness
  • wheezing
  • pain
  • swelling of legs
  • weight loss
  • pain in the stomach or upper abdomen
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes

Few side effects which occur while using this medication are mild and diminished after some time but if the problem persists or if there is any doubt related to this antibiotic, information should be given to the doctor without any delay.

Some mild symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • mild diarrhea

How to store the medicine and dispose of when unneeded?

While consumption of the medicine as per prescription is quite important, it is equally important to store the medicine with care and even more important to dispose of unneeded medicine carefully.

The medicine should be kept in a tightly closed bottle, away from children. Erythromycin can be stored at room temperature and doesn't need refrigeration. However, you need to make sure that it is not close to excess heat or moisture. In case of disposal, make sure that it is disposed of without harming the environment, preferably through a take-back program if available.

Medical conditions for which Erythromycin is used

Some of the medical conditions for which doctors generally prescribe Erythromycin include but not limited to,

  • Syphilis
  • Chancroid
  • Acne
  • Relapsing fever
  • A whopping cough
  • Lyme disease
  • Severe Sinusitis
  • Bacterial Pneumonia
  • Diphtheria
  • Throat infection
  • Skin infection
  • Strep throat
  • Middle ear infection
  • Ecthyma
  • Intestinal infection
  • Legionnaire's disease

And, many other bacterial infections and diseases.

Drug Uses

» Drug Uses (format pdf, 1.03 Mb)

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