What is this medication and its most common uses?Erythrocin is an antibiotic used to treat certain bacterial infections, including pertussis ("whooping cough"), pneumonia, syphilis, and intestinal, respiratory, urinary tract, or skin infections. Erythrocin may also be used to treat or prevent other bacterial infections, as determined by your healthcare provider.
What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?How does this medication work?
Erythrocin works by stopping the growth of bacteria, thereby treating your infection.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Erythrocin has been shown to be effective against many different types of bacteria.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Erythrocin exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed for the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms improve earlier.
How do I know it is working?
You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions and order tests to assess how well your infection is being treated.
What are the possible side effects of this medication?The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
More common side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach area) pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite.
Less common side effects may include:
Liver problems with symptoms such as feeling tired or weak, loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
Changes in the electrical activity of your heart, with symptoms such as chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness or fainting.
Watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever), even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of Erythrocin.
Increased risk of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (narrowing of the opening from the stomach into the small intestines) in infants, with symptoms such as vomiting or irritability when they are fed.
Who should not take this medication?Do not take Erythrocin if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take Erythrocin if you are currently taking terfenadine, astemizole, pimozide, cisapride, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine.
Do not take Erythrocin to treat viral infections (such as the common cold).
What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Erythrocin. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver, heart, or kidney problems; myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness); or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Your healthcare provider might prescribe a different dose than is listed below, based on the type and severity of your infection.
Adults: The usual dose is 250 milligrams (mg) every 6 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours.
Children: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on his or her weight and the type and severity of the infection.
How should I take this medication?Take Erythrocin exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Erythrocin without first talking to your healthcare provider.
What should I avoid while taking this medication?Do not skip doses. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of Erythrocin can decrease its effectiveness and can lead to the growth of bacteria that are resistant to the effects of Erythrocin.
What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?If Erythrocin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Erythrocin with the following: alfentanil, blood pressure/heart medications known as calcium channel blockers (such as amlodipine, diltiazem, or verapamil), blood thinners (such as warfarin), bromocriptine, carbamazepine, cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins (such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, or simvastatin), cilostazol, colchicine, cyclosporine, digoxin, disopyramide, hexobarbital, methylprednisolone, midazolam, phenytoin, quinidine, rifabutin, sildenafil, tacrolimus, theophylline, triazolam, valproate, or vinblastine.
May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Erythrocin during pregnancy are unknown. Erythrocin can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?If you miss a dose of Erythrocin, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store this medication?Store at room temperature.