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Erythromycin Injection

Generic Name: Erythromycin Injection (er ith roe MYE sin)
Brand Name: Erythromycin Lactobionate - I.V.

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018

Uses of Erythromycin Injection:

  • It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Erythromycin Injection?

  • If you have an allergy to erythromycin or any other part of erythromycin injection.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Long QTc on ECG or other heartbeat that is not normal, slow heartbeat, or low potassium or magnesium levels.
  • If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with erythromycin injection, like certain drugs that are used for mood problems, a heartbeat that is not normal, or migraine headaches. There are many drugs that must not be taken with erythromycin injection.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with erythromycin injection.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take erythromycin injection with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Erythromycin Injection?

For all patients taking erythromycin injection:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take erythromycin injection. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on erythromycin injection for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take erythromycin injection.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • If you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet, talk with your doctor.
  • Hearing loss has rarely happened in people taking erythromycin injection. This most often goes back to normal. The chance may be higher if you have kidney problems or if you take high doses of erythromycin injection. Call your doctor right away if you have hearing problems like hearing loss.
  • If you have myasthenia gravis, talk with your doctor. Call your doctor if your signs get worse. Signs of myasthenia gravis have also happened in people who do not have it. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worse muscle weakness, trouble chewing or swallowing, trouble breathing, droopy eyelids, or change in eyesight like blurred eyesight or seeing double.
  • This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking erythromycin injection with your other drugs.
  • If you are 65 or older, use erythromycin injection with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using erythromycin injection while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Newborns:

  • A very bad stomach problem has happened in newborns taking erythromycin injection. Call the doctor right away if your child throws up or gets irritable with feeding.

How is this medicine (Erythromycin Injection) best taken?

Use erythromycin injection as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly type of heartbeat that is not normal (long QT on ECG) has happened with erythromycin injection. Some other drugs taken along with erythromycin injection may add to this effect. Get medical help right away if your heartbeat does not feel normal.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • It is common to have diarrhea when taking erythromycin injection. Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking erythromycin injection or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.

What are some other side effects of Erythromycin Injection?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Not hungry.
  • Irritation where erythromycin injection is given.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Erythromycin Injection?

  • If you need to store erythromycin injection at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about erythromycin injection, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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