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General Information

What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any

Althrocin chewable tab (Alembic)
Erythrocin tab (P. Upjohn)

Erythromycin is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Erythromycin is pronounced as: e-RITH-roe-MYE-sin

Erythromycin is an anti infective / antibacterial drug belonging to Macrolide group of antibiotics.

Common uses of erythromycin

Erythromycin is used in the treatment of following condition

  • Acne,
  • Sinusitis,
  • pneumonia,
  • as an alternative to penicillin in sensitive patients in the prophylaxis of rheumatic fever and bacterial endocarditis
  • Ocular infection like conjunctivitis
  • Chlamydial infections
  • Take Erythromycin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do not understand ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Take oral dose of erythromycin on empty stomach 1hr before or 2hrs after meals with 1 glass of water at regular intervals as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Erythromycin absorption decrease if it is taken with food however it is advisable to take it with food if you have discomfort taking on empty stomach.
  • Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better. 
  • You must complete the entire course of medication to get maximum benefit; else the infection will not clear completely and in due course result in development of resistance.
  • Erythromycin is known to interact with wide variety of drugs. Inform your doctor if you are taking any OTC or prescription medicine like
    1. Anticoagulants (warfarin)
    2. Antibiotics( rifabutin)
    3. Antifungal drugs(fluconazole, itraconazole and ketoconazole)
    4. Anti migraine drugs(ergotamine)
    5. Anti convulsants (carbamazepine)
    6. Anti hypertensive like sotalol,felodipine,
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as Erythromycin should be used cautiously in the below mentioned conditions
    1. Liver disease
    2. Myasthenia gravis
    3. Family history of Long QT interval or sudden cardiac arrest
    4. Blood disorder like porphyria

Do not take Erythromycin if you are on following medication as it can interact with these drugs and cause life threatening arrhythmias

  1. Astemizole (antihistamine)
  2. Terfenadine (antihistamine)
  3. Cisapride
  4. Pimozide


Old people:
Pregnant woman: erythromycin belongs to FDA pregnancy category B. This means that erythromycin is safe during pregnancy and is not expected to cause any harm to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception. 

Lactating women: It is not known whether erythromycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take erythromycin with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding baby.
What are the dosage forms erythromycin is available in the market

Erythromycin is available as tablet, suspension, topical ointment and injection. Your doctor will prescribe them depending on the severity and condition of the disease.

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

For detailed dosage information, consult your doctor who will prescribe you depending on the severity of the disease.

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.  

The overdose symptoms of Erythromycin are
  • severe diarrhoea,
  • nausea &vomiting, 
  • abdominal pain and 
  • Hearing impairment.

What are the common side effects of erythromycin?

Erythromycin may causes following side effects like

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Loss of appetite

Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.

  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes peeling of skin, blistering etc
  • Severe diarrhoea associated with bloody stools
  • Jaundice( yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • Decrease in amount of urine passed
  • Palpitations, irregular heartbeat
  • Decrease in hearing ability

Store erythromycin at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.

  • Avoid grape fruit and juices when on Erythromycin medication.
  • Erythromycin sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Avoid prolong exposure or use long sleeved clothing and sunscreen (SPF-15) when you go out in the sun.
  • Antibiotics usually cause mild diarrhoea. Consult your doctor immediately if it is severe, associated with mucus or bloody stools, as it could be sign of new infection or pseudomembranous colitis.
  • When used for long duration, your doctor may ask you to undergo laboratory test like complete cell count, liver function test, Renal function test to look for possible side effects.

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: November 18,2011