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erythromycin and sulfisoxazole

Generic name: erythromycin and sulfisoxazole [ ee-RITH-roe-MYE-sin-and-SUL-fa-SOX-i-zole ]
Brand names: Pediazole, Eryzole, Sulfimycin
Drug class: Miscellaneous antibiotics

What is erythromycin and sulfisoxazole?

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Sulfisoxazole is a sulfa drug that also fights bacteria in the body.

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole is a combination medicine used to treat ear infections in children.

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

What is the most important information I should know about erythromycin and sulfisoxazole?

You should not take this medication if you are in your 9th month of pregnancy, or if you are breast-feeding a baby younger than 2 months old.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to erythromycin or sulfisoxazole, or if:

  • you are in your 9th month of pregnancy; or

  • you are breast-feeding a baby younger than 2 months old.

To make sure erythromycin and sulfisoxazole is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • diabetes;

  • asthma or severe allergies;

  • myasthenia gravis;

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; or

  • if you take medication to prevent seizures, blood clots, or organ transplant rejection.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether erythromycin and sulfisoxazole will harm an unborn baby when taken in early pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Do not take erythromycin and sulfisoxazole during late pregnancy.

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole should not be given to a child younger than 2 months old.

How should I take erythromycin and sulfisoxazole?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole.

Take with food if erythromycin and sulfisoxazole upsets your stomach.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using erythromycin and sulfisoxazole. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

While using erythromycin and sulfisoxazole, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked.

Store in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, erythromycin and sulfisoxazole can cause severe or life-threatening reactions. Stop using erythromycin and sulfisoxazole and call your doctor at once at the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;

  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • new or worsening cough, fever, trouble breathing;

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

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • vaginal itching or discharge; or

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

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media:

50 mg/kg/day orally (based on the erythromycin component) divided into 3 or 4 equal doses for 10 days (unlabelled use).

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

>=2 months to 18 years: 50 mg/kg/day orally (based on the erythromycin component) divided into 3 or 4 equal doses for 10 days.

What other drugs will affect erythromycin and sulfisoxazole?

Many drugs can interact with erythromycin and sulfisoxazole. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with erythromycin and sulfisoxazole, especially:

  • disopyramide;

  • lovastatin;

  • methotrexate; or

  • ergot medicine--dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with erythromycin and sulfisoxazole. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Popular FAQ

People with a sulfa allergy typically need to avoid sulfonamide antibiotics (antibiotics containing sulfa), including:

  • Septra and Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim)
  • Pediazole (erythromycin-sulfisoxazole)

Whether other nonantibiotic sulfa-containing drugs need to be avoided with sulfa allergy is unclear and considered on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading

More about erythromycin / sulfisoxazole

Patient resources

Other brands

Pediazole, Eryzole

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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.