Erythromycin ointment

Pronunciation

Generic Name: erythromycin (eh-RITH-roe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Romycin

Erythromycin ointment is used for:

Treating eye infections caused by certain bacteria or preventing certain eye infections in newborns.

Erythromycin ointment is an ophthalmic macrolide antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use erythromycin ointment if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in erythromycin ointment
  • you are taking an H1 antagonist (eg, astemizole, terfenadine)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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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, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with erythromycin ointment. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole, terfenadine) because the risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased

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.

  • Erythromycin ointment may be used around the eye or in the eye. To use erythromycin ointment in the eye, first, wash your hands. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from your eye to form a pouch. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into the pouch. After using erythromycin ointment, gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them. Wipe the applicator tip with a clean, dry tissue.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Erythromycin ointment works best if it is used at the same time each day.
  • If more than one infant is being treated, use a new tube for each infant.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while you are using erythromycin ointment. Take care of your contact lenses as directed by the manufacturer. Check with your doctor before you use them.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use erythromycin ointment for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of erythromycin ointment, use 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 use 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 may cause blurred vision after it is applied. This is normal and will clear up in a few minutes.
  • Erythromycin ointment only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections.
  • 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. It is not known if erythromycin ointment is found in breast milk after topical use. 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:

Blurred vision; mild eye redness or irritation.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe or persistent eye redness or irritation; vision changes.

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 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat and light. Protect from freezing. Keep erythromycin ointment out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • 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.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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.

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