Generic Name: Erythromycin

  • What is PCE?

    PCE is an antibiotic used to treat certain bacterial infections, including abdominal infections, sexually transmitted diseases (such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis), conjunctivitis ("pink eye"), rectal infections, reproductive tract infections, skin infections, respiratory (lung) tract infections, and urinary tract infections. PCE may also be used to treat other bacterial infections, as determined by your doctor.

  • What is the most important information I should know about PCE?

    Like all antibiotics, PCE works only against bacteria. It will not cure an infection caused by a virus, such as the common cold or flu.

    Although it is common to feel better soon after you start therapy with PCE, take the full course of treatment exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of treatment can decrease its effectiveness, leading to growth of bacteria that are resistant to the effects of PCE or other antibacterial medications in the future.

    Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea, although rare, may occur. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools. Do not treat the diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.

  • Who should not take PCE?

    Do not take PCE if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or if you are currently taking terfenadine, astemizole, pimozide, cisapride, ergotamine, or dihydroergotamine.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of PCE?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with PCE. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver or kidney disease, heart problems, myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness), are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Your doctor might prescribe different doses than listed below based on the type and severity of your infection.

    Adults: The usual dose is one 333-milligram (mg) tablet every 8 hours or one 500-mg tablet every 12 hours.

    Children: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on their weight.

  • How should I take PCE?

    Take PCE exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You can take PCE with or without meals. However, it is preferred that you take PCE at least 1/2-2 hours before a meal.

  • What should I avoid while taking PCE?

    Do not skip or miss your scheduled dose.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with PCE?

    If PCE is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. PCE may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking.

  • What are the possible side effects of PCE?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, nausea, reversible hearing loss, serious skin rash, vomiting

  • Can I receive PCE if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of PCE during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of PCE?

    If you miss a dose of PCE, 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 PCE?

    Store at room temperature.