Generic Name: erythromycin (eh-RITH-roe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Akne-Mycin
Erythromycin ointment is used for:
Treating severe acne. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Erythromycin ointment 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 ointment if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in erythromycin ointment
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using erythromycin ointment:
Some medical conditions may interact with erythromycin ointment. 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, food, or other substances
- if you have liver disease or you have a blood disorder called porphyria
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with erythromycin ointment. 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 ointment'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), or verapamil 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 ointment
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if erythromycin ointment 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 ointment:
Use erythromycin ointment 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. Moisten a pad or use your fingertips to apply the medicine. Cover the affected and surrounding areas with a thin film of medicine. Wash your hands after you finish using erythromycin ointment.
- Erythromycin ointment works best if it is used at the same time each day.
- To clear up your infection completely, take erythromycin ointment 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 ointment, 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 ointment.
Important safety information:
- Erythromycin ointment is for external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, and other mucous membranes. If you get erythromycin ointment in your eyes, immediately rinse 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 ointment, check with your doctor or pharmacist right away. Do not treat it without first checking with your doctor.
- Be sure to use erythromycin ointment 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 ointment 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.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using erythromycin ointment while you are pregnant. Erythromycin ointment is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use erythromycin ointment, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of erythromycin ointment:
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:
Peeling; redness; skin irritation.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; 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. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
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 ointment may be harmful if swallowed.Proper storage of erythromycin ointment:
Store erythromycin ointment 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 ointment out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about erythromycin ointment, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Erythromycin ointment 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 ointment 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 ointment. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to erythromycin ointment. 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 ointment.
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.