Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018.
Uses of Erythromycin Suspension:
- 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 Suspension?
- If you have an allergy to erythromycin or any other part of erythromycin suspension.
- 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 suspension, 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 suspension.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with erythromycin suspension.
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 suspension 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 Suspension?
For all patients taking erythromycin suspension:
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take erythromycin suspension. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on erythromycin suspension 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 suspension.
- 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 suspension. 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 suspension. 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 suspension with your other drugs.
- If you are 65 or older, use erythromycin suspension 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 suspension while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
- A very bad stomach problem has happened in newborns taking erythromycin suspension. Call the doctor right away if your child throws up or gets irritable with feeding.
How is this medicine (Erythromycin Suspension) best taken?
Use erythromycin suspension as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food, unless your doctor tells you to take it another way.
- Shake well before use.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with erythromycin suspension. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure erythromycin suspension.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking erythromycin suspension as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
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 suspension. Some other drugs taken along with erythromycin suspension 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 suspension. 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 suspension 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 Suspension?
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.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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 Suspension?
- Some brands of erythromycin suspension need to be stored in a refrigerator. Some brands of erythromycin suspension need to be stored at room temperature. If you have questions about how to store erythromycin suspension, talk with your pharmacist.
- Be sure you know how long you can store erythromycin suspension before you need to throw it away.
- 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.
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.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about erythromycin suspension, 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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