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Eryc Side Effects

Generic Name: erythromycin

Note: This document contains side effect information about erythromycin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Eryc.

For the Consumer

Applies to erythromycin: oral capsule delayed release, oral powder for suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet delayed release, oral tablet enteric coated

Other dosage forms:


Oral route (Suspension)

Erythromycin estolate is contraindicated in patients with preexisting liver disease. Hepatic dysfunction with or without jaundice has occurred, mainly in adults. It may be accompanied by malaise, nausea, vomiting, abdominal colic, fever, and in some instances, severe abdominal pain may lead to an abdominal surgical emergency. Discontinue erythromycin promptly if the above findings occur.

Along with its needed effects, erythromycin (the active ingredient contained in Eryc) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking erythromycin:


  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives or welts, skin rash
  • joint or muscle pain
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • redness of the skin
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Incidence Not Known

  • Bloating
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • fainting
  • fever
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • hearing loss
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat recurrent
  • irregular or slow heart rate
  • light-colored stools
  • nausea
  • pain
  • stomach cramp or tenderness
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • unusual weight loss
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects of erythromycin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence Not Known

  • Diarrhea (mild)
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to erythromycin: compounding powder, injectable powder for injection, oral capsule, oral delayed release capsule, oral delayed release tablet, oral granule for reconstitution, oral suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet coated particles


The most common side effects associated with oral erythromycin (the active ingredient contained in Eryc) were gastrointestinal and were dose-related.


Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms has been reported during or after antibacterial therapy.[Ref]

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pancreatitis, pancreatitis without biliary obstruction

Frequency not reported: Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, pseudomembranous colitis, Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (ranging from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis)[Ref]


Life-threatening episodes of ventricular tachycardia associated with prolonged QT interval (torsades de pointes) have been reported following IV administration of erythromycin (the active ingredient contained in Eryc) lactobionate.

QT prolongation has been reported both in otherwise healthy patients and in patients with a history of heart disease or who were on other potentially arrhythmogenic drugs. Most affected patients were receiving erythromycin intravenously. In a recent retrospective study of 278 consecutive patients who had received IV erythromycin lactobionate, 39% of 49 evaluable patients developed moderate to severe delay in ventricular repolarization (QTc interval greater than or equal to 500 msec) during treatment. Of the 278 patients, torsade de pointes was observed in one patient (less than 0.4%).

Arrhythmias and hypotension have been reported following IV administration.

One case of erythromycin-related polymorphous ventricular tachycardia reported in a patient treated for pneumonia was characterized by a normal QT interval.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: QT prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, arrhythmias, hypotension, polymorphous ventricular tachycardia

Postmarketing reports: Torsades de pointes[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatotoxicity, fulminant hepatic necrosis, false isolated elevations of serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) enzymes

Frequency not reported: Hepatic dysfunction (including increased liver enzymes), hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis (with or without jaundice), transient elevations of liver function tests, hepatitis, abnormal liver function test results, intrahepatic cholestasis[Ref]

Hepatic dysfunction (including increased liver enzymes) and hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis (with or without jaundice) have been reported with oral erythromycin.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Allergic reactions (ranging from urticaria to anaphylaxis), hypersensitivity reactions (presented as rash, eosinophilia, fever), hypersensitivity with noninfectious hepatitis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Skin rash, maculopapular rashes (generalized, pruritic)

Frequency not reported: Skin reactions (ranging from mild eruptions to erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis)[Ref]

Nervous system

Rare (less than 0.1%): Convulsions, reversible hearing loss, reversible ototoxicity

Frequency not reported: Exacerbation of myasthenia gravis symptoms, new onset of myasthenic syndrome[Ref]

Reversible hearing loss was reported primarily in patients with renal dysfunction and in patients receiving high doses of erythromycin.

Several published reviews have indicated that ototoxicity was associated with erythromycin dosages greater than 4 grams per day, preexisting liver or kidney disease, and advanced age. Recovery generally occurred within two weeks.[Ref]


A case of hemolytic anemia has been reported in a patient with severe underlying diseases and erythromycin-associated hepatitis.[Ref]

Rare (less than 0.1%): Reversible agranulocytosis

Frequency not reported: Hemolytic anemia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Interstitial nephritis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Recurrent nightmares[Ref]


Slow infusion of diluted erythromycin (the active ingredient contained in Eryc) (continuously or intermittently over no less than 20 to 60 minutes) almost invariably alleviated venous irritation.[Ref]

Rare (less than 0.1%): Venous irritation with IV administration[Ref]


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2. Putzi R, Blaser J, Luthy R, et al "Side-effects due to the intravenous infusion of erythromycin lactobionate." Infection 11 (1982): 45-7

3. Bowler WA, Hostettler C, Samuelson D, et al "Gastrointestinal side effects of intravenous erythromycin: incidence and reduction with prolonged infusion time and glycopyrrolate pretreatment." Am J Med 92 (1992): 249-53

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5. Freedman RA, Anderson KP, Green LS, Mason JW "Effect of erythromycin on ventricular arrhythmias and ventricular repolarization in ideopathic long T syndrome." Am J Cardiol 59 (1987): 168-9

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8. Nattel S, Ranger S, Talajic M, et al "Erythromycin-induced long QT syndrome: concordance with quinidine and underlying cellular electrophysiologic mechanism." Am J Med 89 (1990): 235-8

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24. Bachman BA, Boyd WP Jr, Brady PG "Erythromycin ethylsuccinate-induced cholestasis." Am J Gastroenterol 77 (1982): 397-400

25. Hawksworth CR "Acute pancreatitis associated with infusion of erythromycin lactobionate." Br Med J 298 (1989): 190

26. Lopez JF, Serrano MC, Hernandez JB, Rodriguez JL "Fixed eruption due to erythromycin." Allergy 46 (1991): 77-8

27. Pendleton N, Mallik LJ, Williams JG "Erythromycin rash in glandular fever." Br J Clin Pract 43 (1989): 464-5

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29. Igea JM, Quirce S, de la Hoz B, et al "Adverse cutaneous reactions due to macrolides." Ann Allergy 66 (1991): 216-8

30. Krobeth PD, McNeil MA, Kreeger A, et al "Hearing loss and erythromycin pharmacokinetics in a patient receiving hemodialysis." Arch Intern Med 143 (1983): 1263-5

31. Mery JP, Kanfer A "Alterations in pharmacokinetics and ototoxicity of erythromycin in renal failure." Am J Kidney Dis 4 (1984): 95

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33. May EF, Calvert PC "Aggravation of myasthenia gravis by erythromycin." Ann Neurol 28 (1990): 577-9

34. Williams NR "Erythromycin: a case of nightmares." Br Med J 296 (1988): 214

35. Agusti C, Ferran F, Gea J, Picado C "Ototoxic reaction to erythromycin." Arch Intern Med 151 (1991): 380

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38. Vasquez EM, Maddux MS, Sanchez J, Pollak R "Clinically significant hearing loss in renal allograft recipients treated with intravenous erythromycin." Arch Intern Med 153 (1993): 879-82

39. Taylor R, Schofield IS, Ramos JM, et al "Ototoxicity of erythromycin in peritoneal dialysis patients." Lancet 10/24/81 (1981): 935-6

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42. Kemp E, Keidar S, Brook JG "Sensorineural hearing loss with low dose erythromycin." Br Med J 302 (1991): 1341

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45. Pastor E, LInares M, Grau E "Erythromycin-induced agranulocytosis." DICP 25 (1991): 1136

46. Rosenfeld J, Gura V, Boner G, et al "Interstitial nephritis with acute renal failure after erythromycin." Br Med J 286 (1983): 938-9

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Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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