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Generic Name: Erythromycin

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Erythrocin tablets contain the active ingredient erythromycin, which is a type of drug known as a macrolide antibiotic. Erythromycin is indicated to treat infections caindicated by bacteria.

Erythromycin works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, replicate and increase in numbers. Erythromycin doesn't directly kill the bacteria, but leaves them unable to increase in numbers. The remaining bacteria eventually die or are destroyed by the immune system. This treats the infection.

Erythromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is active against a wide variety of bacteria that cause a wide variety of infections. Erythromycin may be indicated to treat infections of:
- Ears;
- Eyes;
- Skin or soft tissue;
- The upper or lower airways;

Erythromycin may also be indicated to treat certain sexually-transmitted infections, oral and dental infections, and to prevent infections in people who are at risk, for example due to surgery, trauma or burns.

Erythromycin is also indicated for treating inflammatory acne, as Erythromycin is active against the bacteria associated with acne, Propionebacterium acnes. This is a common type of bacteria that feeds on sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It produces waste products and fatty acids that irritate the sebaceous glands, making them inflamed and causing spots. By controlling bacterial numbers, erythromycin brings the inflammation of the sebaceous glands under control, and allows the skin to heal. (Other antibiotics may be preferred for acne however, as strains of the Propionebacterium that are resistant to erythromycin are becoming widespread.)

To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to erythromycin your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example a swab from the throat or skin.

Erythromycin has a similar range of antibacterial activity to penicillin and so is also useful as an alternative to penicillin in people who are allergic to penicillins.

This belongs to the group of drugs known as antibiotics.

Erythromycin is indicated to treat a variety of bacterial infections by killing or stopping the growth of the bacteria.

Erythromycin is particularly useful for treating people who are allergic to penicillin.

Erythromycin is available in tablet, enteric coated tablet, oral solution, and capsule form.


Most infections are caindicated by bacteria that invade and grow in the human body. Medications that control or eradicate these bacteria are called antibiotics. Erythromycin is an antibiotic that prevents bacteria from producing proteins, which interferes with bacterial growth and multiplication, while not affecting human cells.

Erythromycin is an antibiotic indicated to treat many kinds of infections, including:

Acute pelvic inflammatory disease
Intestinal parasitic infections
Legionnaires' disease
Rectal infections
Reproductive tract infections
Skin infections
Upper and lower respiratory tract infections
Urinary tract infections
Whooping cough

Erythromycin is also indicated to prevent rheumatic fever in people who are allergic to penicillin and sulfa drugs. Erythromycin is indicated before colorectal surgery to prevent infection.


Bacterial infections of the lungs (chest or lower respiratory tract), eg:
- Pneumonia;
- Legionnaires' disease;
- Bronchitis;
- Bronchiectasis;
Bacterial infection of the nasal passages, sinuses or throat (upper respiratory tract infection), eg:
- Laryngitis;
- Pharyngitis;
- Sinusitis;
- Tonsillitis;
Whooping cough
Bacterial infection of the middle ear (otitis media) or outer ear canal (otitis externa)
Bacterial mouth infections, eg gum disease (gingivitis), Vincent's angina
Bacterial infection of the eyelids (blepharitis)
Bacterial infections of the skin or soft tissue, eg:
- Impetigo;
- Erysipelas;
- Cellulitis;
- Boils;
- Abscesses;
Chronic inflammatory disorder of the facial skin (acne rosacea)
Bacterial infections of the stomach and intestines
Inflammation of bone due to bacterial infection (osteomyelitis)
Inflammation of the urethra due to bacterial infection (urethritis)
Inflammation of the prostate gland due to bacterial infection (prostatitis)
Scarlet fever
Prevention of bacterial infection following surgery, burns, trauma or dental procedures

Erythromycin can be indicated to treat Streptococcal infections of the throat (strep throat) and the skin. Erythromycin can also be indicated in treating lung infections (pneumonias) caindicated by:
- Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires disease);
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae;
- Streptococcal pneumoniae;

Erythromycin is indicated in patients who are allergic to penicillin for the prevention of recurrent rheumatic fever, and heart valve infections (endocarditis) in patients with heart valve abnormalities before undergoing dental treatments. For further information, please read the Mitral Valve Prolapse, and Aortic Stenosis articles. Erythromycin is also indicated for the treatment of staphylococcal infections of the skin, and as an alternative drug for:
- Chlamydia;
- Gonorrhea;
- Syphilis;

Side effects

Abdominal pain;
Abnormal heart beats (arrhythmias);
Abnormal liver tests or liver dysfunction can also occur with erythromycin;
Allergic reactions such as hives rash or anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction which can lead to shock);
Allergic skin reactions;
Disturbances of liver function;
Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis);
Itching or hearing problems;
Loss of appetite;
Nausea (feeling sick);
Nausea and vomiting;
Reversible hearing loss (usually only after large doses);
Skin rashes;
Tummy pain and discomfort;
Vomiting (being sick);
Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice);


Tablets: 250 milligrams,
Tablets: 500 milligrams.


Dosage instructions are determined by the type (and severity) of infection being treated and may vary slightly for different brands of erythromycin. The following are recommended dosages for PCE, one of the most commonly indicated brands.


Streptococcal Infections

The usual dose is 333 milligrams every 8 hours, or 500 milligrams every 12 hours. Depending on the severity of the infection, the dose may be increased to a total of 4 grams a day. However, when the daily dosage is larger than 1 gram, twice-a-day doses are not recommended, and the drug should be taken more often in smaller doses.

To treat streptococcal infections of the upper respiratory tract (tonsillitis or strep throat), erythromycin should be taken for at least 10 days.

To prevent repeated infections in people who have had rheumatic fever, the usual dosage is 250 milligrams twice a day.

Urinary Tract Infections Due to Chlamydia Trachomatis During Pregnancy

The usual dosage is 500 milligrams of erythromycin orally 4 times a day or 666 milligrams every 8 hours on an empty stomach for at least 7 days. For women who cannot tolerate this regimen, a decreased dose of 500 milligrams every 12 hours or 333 milligrams every 8 hours a day should be indicated for at least 14 days.

For Those with Uncomplicated Urinary, Reproductive Tract, or Rectal Infections Caindicated by Chlamydia Trachomatis When Tetracycline Cannot Be Taken

The usual oral dosage is 500 milligrams of erythromycin 4 times a day or 666 milligrams every 8 hours for at least 7 days.

For Those with Nongonococcal Urethral Infections When Tetracycline Cannot Be Taken

The usual dosage is 500 milligrams of erythromycin by mouth 4 times a day or 666 milligrams orally every 8 hours for at least 7 days.

Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Caindicated by Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

The usual treatment is three days of intravenous erythromycin followed by 500 milligrams orally every 12 hours or 333 milligrams orally every 8 hours for 7 days.


The usual dosage is 30 to 40 grams divided into smaller doses over a period of 10 to 15 days.

Intestinal Infections

The usual dosage is 500 milligrams every 12 hours, or 333 milligrams every 8 hours, for 10 to 14 days.

Legionnaires' Disease

The usual dosage ranges from 1 to 4 grams daily, divided into smaller doses.


Age, weight, and severity of the infection determine the correct dosage.

The usual dosage is from 30 to 50 milligrams daily for each 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into equal doses for 10 to 14 days. For pneumonia in infants due to chlamydia, treatment lasts at least 3 weeks.

For more severe infections, this dosage may be doubled, but it should not exceed 4 grams per day.

Children weighing over 44 pounds should follow the recommended adult dose schedule.

For prevention of bacterial endocarditis, the children's dosage is 10 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight 2 hours before dental work or surgery, followed by 5 milligrams per 2.2 pounds 6 hours later.