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E-Mycin

Generic Name: erythromycin (er ITH roe MYE sin)
Brand Names: E.E.S. Granules, E.E.S.-200, E.E.S.-400, E.E.S.-400 Filmtab, Ery-Tab, EryPed, EryPed 200, EryPed 400, Erythrocin Stearate Filmtab, PCE Dispertab

What is E-Mycin (erythromycin)?

Erythromycin is in a group of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Erythromycin fights bacteria in the body.

Erythromycin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria.

Erythromycin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about E-Mycin (erythromycin)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to erythromycin, or if you are also taking astemizole (Hismanal), cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), or terfenadine (Seldane). Erythromycin may interact with these medicines and could cause dangerous or life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

Before taking erythromycin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease or myasthenia gravis. You may not be able to take erythromycin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an enteric-coated or delayed-release pill. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating. The delayed-release pill is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Erythromycin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

Take this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Erythromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking E-Mycin (erythromycin)?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to erythromycin, or if you are taking any of the following medicines:
  • astemizole (Hismanal);

  • cisapride (Propulsid);

  • pimozide (Orap); or

  • terfenadine (Seldane).

Erythromycin may interact with these medicines and could cause dangerous or life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

Before taking erythromycin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease or myasthenia gravis. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take erythromycin.

FDA pregnancy category B: This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Erythromycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take E-Mycin (erythromycin)?

Take erythromycin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Erythromycin can be taken on an empty stomach or with food or milk. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an enteric-coated or delayed-release pill. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating. The delayed-release pill is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

The chewable tablet form of erythromycin must be chewed before swallowing.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Take this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Erythromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using erythromycin.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or hearing loss.

What should I avoid while taking E-Mycin (erythromycin)?

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Erythromycin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

E-Mycin (erythromycin) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • chest pain, uneven heartbeats, feeling light-headed or fainting;

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, lost appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain;

  • dizziness, headache, feeling tired;

  • vaginal itching or discharge; or

  • mild itching or skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

What other drugs will affect E-Mycin (erythromycin)?

Many drugs can interact with erythromycin. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • digoxin (Lanoxin);

  • sildenafil (Viagra);

  • disopyramide (Norpace);

  • warfarin (Coumadin);

  • theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theobid, and others);

  • alprazolam (Xanax) or triazolam (Halcion);

  • ergotamine (Ercaf, Cafergot, Ergostat, Ergomar) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal);

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene);

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral);

  • lovastatin (Mevacor) or simvastatin (Zocor);

  • bromocriptine (Parlodel);

  • cilostazol (Pletal);

  • quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex);

  • vinblastine (Velban); or

  • other antibiotics.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with erythromycin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.08. Revision Date: 04/18/2008 1:51:53 PM.
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