Family doctor



ERYTHROMYCIN - a patient's guide


Erythromycin is an antibiotic that is effective against a range of infections. This article profiles the drug and its uses.


  • ERYC (Erythromycin)\t\t\t
  • EES (Ery. Ethyl Succinate)
  • ERA (Ery. Stearate)
  • EROMYCIN (Ery. Estolate)

USE: Antibiotic - macrolide

This medicine has an antibacterial spectrum similar to penicillin, therefore is often prescribed as an alternative for patients with an allergy to penicillins. Erythromycin can be used against common bacterial infections usually involving the chest, throat and stomach. It can also be indicated prior to certain surgery procedures as a preventative measure.


  • Previous allergy to macrolides
  • Liver and kidney impairment
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding (discuss with doctor)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Avoid taking at same time as antihistamines if possible. Possible dangerous interaction with teldane reported.

Side effects:

Occasional: stomach upset/nausea, skin rash (discontinue treatment), liver impairment, vaginal thrush susceptibility.

Rarely: reversible hearing loss (due to kidney impairment), heart problems (chest pain).\t\t


Erythromycin has numerous interactions particularly with terfinadine (Teldane), warfarin, theophylline, digoxin, carbamazepine and ergotamine.

The interaction with Warfarin is particularly dangerous-dangerous bleeding tendencies can be caused.

Patient information:

  • Follow instructions carefully on the label of the medicine
  • Always complete the course of antibiotics unless directed by your doctor
  • Food: Taken on an empty stomach (one hour before meals)
  • Alcohol: Little problems in moderation
  • Contact your doctor or seek urgent medical help if side effects are severe or ongoing

See also:

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