erythromycin (generic name)

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections
(er ith roe MYE sin)
Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

What is this medicine?

ERYTHROMYCIN (er ith roe MYE sin) is a macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • liver disease
  • myasthenia gravis
  • taking terfenadine or astemizole
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to erythromycin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a vein. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • astemizole
  • chloroquine
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • eplerenone
  • ergotamine and dihydroergotamine
  • methadone
  • other antibiotics, like grepafloxacin or sparfloxacin
  • sirolimus
  • some medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin, cerivastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin
  • some medicines for irregular heart rhythm like amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine
  • some medicines for psychotic disturbances like mesoridazine, pimozide, thioridazine, ziprasidone
  • terfenadine
  • vinblastine
  • red yeast rice

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alfentanil
  • bromocriptine
  • carbamazepine
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • some medicines for anxiety or sleep
  • phenytoin
  • terfenadine
  • theophylline
  • valproate
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain
  • dark urine
  • feeling faint, lightheaded
  • hearing loss
  • irregular heartbeat
  • pain, redness where injected
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

If you are using this medicine at home, you will be instructed on how to store this medicine. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 20, 2009
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.