Generic Name: erythromycin (eh-RITH-roe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Emgel
Erythromycin gel is used for:
Treating severe acne. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Erythromycin gel is a topical macrolide antibiotic that is thought to improve acne by slowing the growth of bacteria on the skin, which causes acne.
Do NOT use erythromycin gel if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in erythromycin gel
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using erythromycin gel:
Some medical conditions may interact with erythromycin gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver disease or you have a blood disorder called porphyria
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with erythromycin gel. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Efavirenz or rifampin because they may decrease erythromycin gel's effectiveness
- Arsenic, cimetidine,diltiazem,dofetilide,HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole),pimozide, QT-prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), streptogramins (eg, quinupristin/dalfopristin), orverapamil because side effects, such as heart toxicity or irregular heartbeat, may occur
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aldosterone blockers (eg, spironolactone), alfentanil, arsenic, astemizole, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), bromocriptine, buspirone, carbamazepine, cilostazol, cisapride, clozapine, corticosteroids (eg, hydrocortisone), cyclosporine, digitoxin, digoxin, disopyramide, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), felodipine, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin), imatinib, macrolide immunosuppressants (eg, tacrolimus), meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), midazolam, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil), pimozide,QT-prolonging agents (eg, quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), rifampin, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine),sumatriptan, theophyllines, tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), valproic acid, or vinca alkaloids (eg, vincristine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by erythromycin gel
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if erythromycin gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use erythromycin gel:
Use erythromycin gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Wash affected areas with soap and water. Rinse well and pat dry before applying the medicine.
- Cover the affected and surrounding area with a thin film of medicine. Spread the medicine lightly over the affected areas rather than rubbing it in. Allow the medicine to dry.
- Wash your hands immediately after applying erythromycin gel.
- Erythromycin gel works best if it is used at the same time each day.
- To clear up your infection completely, take erythromycin gel for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
- If you miss a dose of erythromycin gel, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use erythromycin gel.
Important safety information:
- Erythromycin gel is for external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, and other mucous membranes. If you get erythromycin gel in your eyes, immediately wash them out with cool tap water.
- If severe diarrhea or stomach pain or cramping develops during treatment or within several months after treatment with erythromycin gel, check with your doctor or pharmacist right away. Do not treat it without first checking with your doctor.
- Be sure to use erythromycin gel for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of erythromycin gel may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
- Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines or cleansers on your skin.
- Once you begin using erythromycin gel, it may take 3 to 8 weeks before you begin to see improvement.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using erythromycin gel while you are pregnant. Erythromycin gel is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use erythromycin gel, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of erythromycin gel:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Burning; dryness; mild stinging; peeling.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; irritation of the eyes; itching, burning, tenderness, or redness of skin; severe diarrhea; stomach cramps/pain.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch .
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Erythromycin gel may be harmful if swallowed.Proper storage of erythromycin gel:
Store erythromycin gel at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container. Store away from heat and light. Keep erythromycin gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about erythromycin gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Erythromycin gel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take erythromycin gel or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about erythromycin gel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to erythromycin gel. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using erythromycin gel.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.