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Erythromycin

What is erythromycin

Erythromycin is in a class of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Erythromycin fights bacteria in the body.

Erythromycin is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections, such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, Legionnaire's disease, chlamydia, gonorrhea, skin infections, and others.

Erythromycin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about erythromycin

Do not take erythromycin if you are taking terfenadine (Seldane, Seldane-D), astemizole (Hismanal), cisapride (Propulsid), or pimozide (Orap). Erythromycin may interact with these medicines resulting in dangerous or life-threatening irregular heartbeats.

Take all of the erythromycin that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

What you should find out before taking erythromycin

Do not take erythromycin if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- terfenadine (Seldane, Seldane-D);
- astemizole (Hismanal);
- cisapride (Propulsid); or
- pimozide (Orap).

Erythromycin may interact with these medicines resulting in dangerous or life-threatening irregular heartbeats.

Before taking erythromycin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease. You may not be able to take erythromycin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Erythromycin is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Erythromycin has been used quite extensively during pregnancy, and it is generally considered to be safe. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Erythromycin passes into breast milk but does not appear to be harmful to a nursing baby. Erythromycin is generally considered to be safe for use by breast-feeding mothers. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take erythromycin

Take erythromycin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Erythromycin can be taken on an empty stomach or with food or milk.

Do not crush, chew, or break the extended-release or enteric-coated forms of erythromycin such as E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, or Erythromycin Delayed-Release Capsules. Swallow them whole.

Take all of the erythromycin that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of an erythromycin overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

Avoid while taking erythromycin

Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Erythromycin may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Possible side effects of erythromycin

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking erythromycin and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
- liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take erythromycin and talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain (take erythromycin with food or milk if you experience any of these side effects);
- dizziness, fatigue, or headache;
- vaginal yeast infection;
- a rash; or
- increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect erythromycin

Do not take erythromycin if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- terfenadine (Seldane, Seldane-D);
- astemizole (Hismanal);
- cisapride (Propulsid); or
- pimozide (Orap).

Erythromycin may interact with these medicines resulting in dangerous or life-threatening irregular heartbeats.

Before taking erythromycin, tell your doctor if you are taking
- digoxin (Lanoxin);
- disopyramide (Norpace);
- warfarin (Coumadin);
- theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theobid, and others);
- midazolam (Versed) or triazolam (Halcion);
- ergotamine (Ercaf, Cafergot, Ergostat, Ergomar) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal);
- carbamazepine (Tegretol);
- phenytoin (Dilantin);
- valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene);
- tacrolimus (Prograf);
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral);
- lovastatin (Mevacor) or simvastatin (Zocor);
- bromocriptine (Parlodel); or
- other antibiotics.

You may not be able to take erythromycin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with erythromycin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

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B
baclofen
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C
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D
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E
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F
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G
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H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
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N
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O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
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R
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S
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T
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U
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V
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W
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X
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Y
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Z
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