Active substance(s): ERYTHROMYCIN STEARATE
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine.
- Please keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
- If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may
harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.
- If any of the side effects becomes severe, or if you notice any side effects not
listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
In this leaflet:
1. What Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets are and what they are used for
2. Before you take Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets
3. How to take Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets
6. Further information
1. WHAT ERYTHROMYCIN STEARATE BP TABLETS ARE AND WHAT THEY
ARE USED FOR
The name of your medicine is Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets. Erythromycin
Stearate BP contains the active ingredient erythromycin which belongs to a group of
medicines called macrolide antibiotics.
Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets are used to prevent and treat infections such as:
• Throat and sinus infections
• Chest infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia
• Ear infections
• Mouth and dental infections
• Eye infections
• Skin and tissue infections, such as acne
• Stomach and intestinal infections
• Prevention of infection following burns, operations or dental procedures
• Other infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases, bone infections or scarlet
2. BEFORE YOU TAKE ERYTHROMYCIN STEARATE BP
You should not receive Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets if you:
• have been told that you are allergic to erythromycin or other macrolide antibiotics
such as clarithromycin or azithromycin or any of the other ingredients in these
• are currently taking a medicine called
- are taking ergotamine or dihydroergotamine (used to treat migraines) while
taking erythromycin as this may cause serious side effects.
- are taking terfenadine or astemizole (widely taken for hayfever and allergies),
cisapride (for stomach disorders) or pimozide (for psychiatric conditions) while
receiving erythromycin, as combining these drugs can sometimes cause
serious disturbances in heart rhythm. Consult your doctor for advice on
alternative medicines you can take instead.
• are taking colchicine (used for treatment of gout and arthritis) whilst taking
erythromycin as this may cause serious side effects.
• have any liver problems or have been told that any drugs you are taking can
cause liver problems
have previously experienced diarrhoea following the use of antibiotics;
are pregnant and have been told that you have a sexually transmitted disease
called syphilis. In this case erythromycin may not be effective for preventing the
transfer of this infection to your baby. Consult your doctor before receiving
erythromycin. Alternatively if you were treated for early stages of syphilis during
your pregnancy, and your child is under 1 year and is prescribed erythromycin,
consult your doctor before giving erythromycin to your child.
are treating a young child with antibiotics and they are irritable or vomit when fed,
you should contact your physician immediately.
suffer from a condition called myasthenia gravis, which causes muscle
weakness, consult your doctor before receiving erythromycin.
are taking erythromycin with ‘statins’ such as simvastatin or lovastatin (used to
lower cholesterol) as serious side effects can occur.
If any of these apply to you, or if you are not sure, tell your doctor.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor if you are taking, or have recently taken any other medicines,
including any medicines obtained without a prescription.
This is especially important if you are taking medicines from the following families:
• astemizole, terfenadine or mizolastine (used to treat allergies such as hayfever);
• pimozide (used to treat mental problems);
• ergotamine or dihydroergotamine (used to relieve migraine);
• cisapride (used to treat stomach disorders);
• statins (used to help lower cholesterol levels e.g. lovastatin and simvastatin);
• protease inhibitors (used to treat viral infections e.g. saquinavir);
• oral contraceptives.
This is also important if you are taking medicines called:
• colchicine (used to treat gout and arthritis);
• cimetidine and omeprazole (used to treat acid reflux and other related
• clarithromycin, rifabutin, or rifampicin (medicines used to treat different types of
• fluconazole, ketoconazole and itraconazole (medicines used to treat fungal
• digoxin, quinidine or disopyramide (used to treat heart problems);
• cilostazol (a medicine used to treat peripheral circulation problems);
• hexobarbitone, phenobarbital or midazolam (used as sedatives);
• warfarin and acenocoumarol (used to help thin the blood);
• valproate, carbamazepine or phenytoin (used to control epilepsy);
• theophylline (used to treat asthma and other breathing problems);
• ciclosporin or tacrolimus (used following organ transplants);
• bromocriptine (used to treat Parkinson’s disease);
• zopiclone or triazolam/alprazolam (used to help you sleep or relieve states of
• alfentanil (a medicine used to provide pain relief);
• methylprednisolone (used to help suppress the body's immune system – this is
useful in treating a wide range of conditions);
• St John’s Wort (a herbal medicine used to treat depression);
• verapamil (used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain);
• vinblastine (used to treat certain types of cancer);
• sildenafil (used to treat erectile dysfunction).
If you or your child goes for any medical tests, tell your doctor that you are taking
Erythromycin Stearate BP, as this may interfere with some test results.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Erythromycin should be used by women during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding, please
consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
3. HOW TO TAKE ERYTHROMYCIN STEARATE BP TABLETS
Always take Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets exactly as your doctor has told you.
You should check with your doctor if you are not sure.
The usual dose of Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets for adults and children over 8
1-2 g daily in divided doses i.e. four to eight 250 mg tablets daily or two to four 500
mg tablets daily, taken just before or with meals or food. If you have a bad infection
you may be told to take up to 4 g daily.
Continue to take this medicine until the course is completed or until your doctor tells
you to stop; do not stop taking your medicine, even if you feel better. If you stop the
treatment too early your problem could come back.
If you take more Erythromycin Stearate BP than you should
If you accidentally take more medicine in one day than your doctor has told you to, or
if a child has taken some of the medicine by mistake, contact your doctor or go to
your nearest hospital emergency department immediately.
An overdose of Erythromycin Stearate BP could cause temporary hearing loss,
nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
If you forget to take Erythromycin Stearate BP
If you forget to take a dose of your medicine, take it as soon as you remember. Do
not take more medicine in one day than your doctor tells you to.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product ask your doctor or
4. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets can cause side effects,
although not everybody gets them.
If you notice any of the following, contact your doctor immediately:
• difficulty breathing;
• swelling of the face, lips or throat;
• skin rashes;
• severe skin reactions including large fluid-filled blisters, sores and ulcers;
• ulcers in the mouth and throat,
as these may be signs of an allergic reaction.
Other side effects of Erythromycin Stearate BP include:
• diarrhoea which may be severe or prolonged and may contain blood or mucus;
• feeling sick or being sick;
• increase in a particular type of white blood cells (eosinophilia);
stomach pains; these may be a symptom of an inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis);
ringing in the ears (tinnitus);
reversible loss of hearing (usually associated with high doses or in patients with
various liver or gall-bladder problems, which can cause yellowing of the skin
and/or eyes (jaundice) or pale stools with dark urine;
abnormal heart rhythms (including palpitations);
vertigo (problems with balance that can result in feelings of dizziness or sickness
– particularly on standing);
hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there);
feeling generally unwell (malaise);
inflammation of the kidneys (a condition known as interstitial nephritis);
low blood pressure;
serious skin rashes that may involve blistering and can cover large areas of the
torso, face and limbs (conditions known as Stevens Johnson syndrome, toxic
epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme).
If any of the side effects becomes severe, or if you notice any side effects not listed
in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
5. HOW TO STORE ERYTHROMYCIN STEARATE BP TABLETS
Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package.
Do not use these tablets after the expiry date shown on the blister/label. The expiry
date refers to the last day of that month.
KEEP OUT OF THE REACH AND SIGHT OF CHILDREN
Medicines should not be disposed of via waste water or household waste. Ask your
pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will
help to protect the environment.
6. FURTHER INFORMATION
What Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets contain
Each Erythromycin Stearate BP 250 tablet contains 250 mg of the active ingredient
Each Erythromycin Stearate BP 500 tablet contains 500 mg of the active ingredient
The other ingredients are: hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, maize starch, povidone,
magnesium hydroxide, sorbic acid, polyethylene glycol and polacrilin potassium.
What Erythromycin Stearate BP Tablets look like and the contents of the pack
Erythromycin Stearate BP tablets are white.
The Erythromycin Stearate BP 250 tablets are available in containers of 50, 100 or
1000 tablets, or blister packs of 28 tablets.
The Erythromycin Stearate BP 500 tablets are available in containers of 50, 100 or
1000 tablets, or blister packs of 10, 14, 15, 28 or 56 tablets.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Marketing Authorisation Holder:
Miles Gray Road,
Essex SS14 3AF.
Aesica Queenborough Limited,
Kent ME11 5EL.
This leaflet applies only to Erythromycin Stearate BP and was prepared in July 1998.
Revised in February 2010.
Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.