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Generic Name: Erythromycin Base and Stearate Tablets (eh-RITH-roe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Erythromycin Filmtabs and Erythrocin

Erythrocin is used for:

Treating infections caused by certain bacteria. It is also used to prevent attacks of rheumatic fever. It is also used to treat certain sexually transmitted diseases.

Erythrocin is a macrolide antibiotic. Macrolide antibiotics slow the growth of, or sometimes kill, sensitive bacteria by reducing the production of important proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Do NOT use Erythrocin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Erythrocin
  • you are taking astemizole, cisapride, cyclosporine, diltiazem, dofetilide, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole), pimozide, QT prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), streptogramins (eg, quinupristin/dalfopristin), sumatriptan, terfenadine, or verapamil

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Erythrocin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Erythrocin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are a child 9 years of age or younger with diarrhea or gastrointestinal infection
  • if you have kidney or liver disease, or you have a blood disorder called porphyria

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Erythrocin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Efavirenz or rifampin because they may decrease Erythrocin "s effectiveness
  • Arsenic, cimetidine,diltiazem,dofetilide,HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole), pimozide,QT-prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), streptogramins (eg, quinupristin/dalfopristin), or verapamil because side effects, such as heart toxicity or irregular heartbeat, may occur
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aldosterone blockers (eg, spironolactone), alfentanil, arsenic, astemizole, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), bromocriptine, buspirone, carbamazepine, cilostazol, cisapride, clozapine, corticosteroids (eg, hydrocortisone), cyclosporine, digitoxin, digoxin, disopyramide, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), felodipine, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin), imatinib, macrolide immunosuppressants (eg, tacrolimus), meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), midazolam, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil), pimozide, QT-prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), rifampin, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine), sumatriptan, theophyllines, tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), valproic acid, or vinca alkaloids (eg, vincristine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Erythrocin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Erythrocin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Erythrocin :

Use Erythrocin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Erythrocin by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Take Erythrocin with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
  • Erythrocin works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take Erythrocin for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you use Erythrocin . Serious heart problems can occur.
  • If you miss a dose of Erythrocin , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Erythrocin .

Important safety information:

  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Erythrocin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use Erythrocin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Erythrocin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Erythrocin . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Erythrocin while you are pregnant. Erythrocin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Erythrocin , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Erythrocin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; irregular heartbeat; reversible hearing loss; severe diarrhea; stomach pain/cramps; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Erythrocin :

Store Erythrocin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep tightly closed. Keep Erythrocin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Erythrocin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Erythrocin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Erythrocin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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