Skip to Content


Active substance(s): ERYTHROMYCIN

PDF options:  View Fullscreen   Download PDF

PDF Transcript

Package leaflet: Information for the patient
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important
information for you.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or your pharmacist.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm
them even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
• If you get any side effects talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side
effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
What is in this leaflet
What Erythromycin is and what it is used for
What you need to know before you take Erythromycin
How to take Erythromycin
Possible side effects
How to store Erythromycin
Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Erythromycin is and what it is used for
Erythromycin belongs to a group of medicines called antibiotics, which act by preventing the growth and
multiplication of bacteria.
Erythromycin is prescribed to treat infections caused by bacteria, including:
 upper and lower respiratory tract infections
 skin and other soft tissue infections including acne
 ear, mouth or eye infections
 gastrointestinal infections (e.g. gall bladder or intestinal infections)
 other infections such as syphilis or gonorrhoea
Erythromycin is prescribed for the prevention of infections when patients:
 are going to have or have recently had dental or surgical procedures
 have suffered from burns
 have had rheumatic fever
 are allergic to penicillin and have heart disease

What you need to know before you take Erythromycin

DO NOT take Erythromycin and tell your doctor if you:
 are allergic (hypersensitive) to erythromycin, to any other medicine containing erythromycin or to
any of the ingredients in the capsule. (Listed in section 6)
 are taking any of the following medication:
- dihydroergotamine, ergotamine (for migraine) while taking Erythromycin as this can cause
serious side effects
- cisapride (for stomach disorders)
- astemizole, mizolastine and terfenadine (antihistamines, for treating allergies)
- pimozide and sertindole (for psychiatric disorders)
- tolterodine (for urinary incontinence)


amisulpride (for schizophrenia)
simvastatin (for high cholesterol)

Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Erythromycin if you:
 suffer from liver disease
 suffer from myasthenia gravis, a condition characterised by muscle weakness, difficulty chewing and
swallowing and slurred speech
 Have previously diarrhoea following the use of antibiotics
 Are taking Erythromycin with ‘statins’ such as simvastatin (used to lower cholesterol) as serious side
effects can occur
 If you are treating a young child with antibiotics and they are irritable or vomit when fed, you should
contact your physician immediately
 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.
Long term use of erythromycin has been associated with overgrowth of bacteria or fungi not sensitive to
this antibiotic, causing a serious bowel infection (see section 4. Possible Side Effects)
Other medicines and Erythromycin:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
Erythromycin is known to interact with the following medicines:
 eletriptan (for migraine)
 clozapine, quetiapine (for psychiatric disorders)
 acenocoumarol and warfarin (for preventing blood clots)
 alfentanil, midazolam and triazolam (sedatives which may be given before an operation)
 atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin (for reducing blood cholesterol)
 bromocriptine and cabergoline (for Parkinson’s disease)
 buspirone (for anxiety)
 carbamazepine, hexobarbital, phenytoin and valproate (for epilepsy)
 chloramphenicol, clindamycin and lincomycin (for infections)
 cyclosporin and tacrolimus (for prevention of rejection after graft or organ transplant)
 cilostazol (for circulatory problems)
 cimetidine (for stomach ulcers)
 digoxin, disopyramide and quinidine (for heart conditions)
 felodipine (for high blood pressure)
 rifabutin (for tuberculosis)
 sildenafil and tadalafil (for erectile dysfunction in men)
 theophylline (for breathing problems)
 zopiclone (for insomnia)
 Verapamil (for angina and cardiac arrhythmias)
 Colchicine (used to treat gout)
 astemizole, mizolastine and terfenadine (antihistamines, for treating allergies)
 Contraceptive pill
 dihydroergotamine, ergotamine (for migraine)
 amisulpride (for schizophrenia)

cisapride (for stomach disorders)
pimozide and sertindole (for psychiatric disorders)
clarithromycin (antibiotic)
tolterodine (for urinary incontinence)

Pregnancy and Breast-feeding
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby , ask your
doctor for advice before taking this medicine.
Driving and using machines
There are no known effects of erythromucin on the ability to drive or operate machinery
If you are asked to provide urine for any tests, tell your doctor that you are taking Erythromycin 250mg
Capsules, as erythromycin can interfere with certain tests.
Erythromycin 250 mg Capsules contains Sucrose
If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor
before taking this medicinal product.


How to take Erythromycin

Always take Erythromycin Capsules exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or
pharmacist, if you are not sure.
Swallow the capsules whole either before or with meals. DO NOT chew the capsules.
Do not give to children who cannot swallow the capsules whole.
The recommended dose is:
Adults (including the elderly)
The usual dose is 2 capsules (500 mg) twice daily or 1 capsule (250 mg) four times daily, taken either
before or with meals.
Your doctor may prescribe a different dose for you depending on the condition you are being treated for.
If the total daily dose to be taken is greater than 4 capsules (1000 mg) you should take Erythromycin 250
mg Capsules 3 or 4 times a day.
Use in children
The dosage for children will depend upon the child’s weight.
DO NOT give to children who cannot swallow the capsule whole
The usual dosage is between 30mg to 50 mg of Erythromycin 250 mg Capsules for each kg of weight.
Your doctor will work out the exact dose. The prescribed course should always be completed.
If you take more Erythromycin than you should
If you (or someone else) take too many capsules, contact your nearest hospital casualty department or tell
your doctor IMMEDIATELY. Symptoms of an overdose include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Take any remaining capsules and the pack they were in with you to the hospital.
If you forget to take Erythromycin
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it and then take the next dose at the correct
time. DO NOT take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you stop taking Erythromycin:
Keep taking this medicine until your doctor tells you to stop. DO NOT STOP taking it just because you
feel better. If you stop taking the medicine, your condition may re-occur or get worse.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible Side Effects

Like all medicines, Erythromycin 250 mg Capsules can cause side effects although not everybody gets
STOP taking your medicine and tell your doctor immediately, or go to accident and emergency if
you have:
 an allergic reaction (which can be serious). Symptoms include skin rashes which may be
itchy, swelling of the face and tongue, fever, chest pain and anaphylaxis (breathing
 Stevens-Johnson syndrome with symptoms such as painful rash, large fluid filled blisters,
sores and ulcers (A severe inflammatory eruption of the skin and mucous membranes).
Other side effects include
Most common side effects:
 nausea
 diarrhoea
 abdominal discomfort
 vomiting
Occasional side effects:
 confusion
 hallucinations
 a feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning (vertigo)
 irregularities of the heartbeat (including palpitations and fast heart
rate )
 seizure (fits)
 hearing problems (associated with very high doses)
Less frequent side effects:
 Liver problems or failure including jaundice
(yellowing of the skin and eyes) or hepatitis (pale
stools with dark urine)
 abnormal blood tests of liver function
Rare side effects:
 itching, hives and skin rashes
 inflammation of the pancreas, leading to abdominal pain
 long-term use of Erythromycin 250 mg Capsules has been associated with the growth of bacteria or
fungi not sensitive to this antibiotic- this can include serious infection involving the large bowel
(pseudomembranous colitis)

Very rare side effects:
 severe skin reactions, with soreness, blistering and ulceration or peeling of the skin, that can cover
large areas of the torso, face and limbs

Not Known
 Increase in a particular type of white blood cells (eosinophilia)
 Ringing in the ears
 Chest pains
 Fever
 Anorexia
 Feeling generally unwell
 Inflammation of the kidneys (a condition known as interstitial nephritis)
 Low blood pressure
 narrowing (stenosis) of the opening from the stomach to the first part of the small intestine
Reporting Of Side Effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not
listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the yellow card scheme at By reporting side affects you can help provide more information on the
safety of this medicine.

How To Store Erythromycin

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date shown on the label. The expiry date refers to the last day of
that month.
Store in the original package. Do not transfer your medicine to another container.
Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to
dispose of medicines you no longer use.These measures will help to protect the environment.

Contents of the pack and other information

What Erythromycin 250mg Capsules contains
The active substance is: erythromycin (250 mg)
The other ingredients are: neutral microgranules (containing sucrose and corn starch), hydroxypropyl
methylcellulose, triacetin, methacrylic acid and ethyl acrylate copolymer, and talc. The capsule shell
contains gelatin.
What Erythromycin 250mg Capsules look like and contents of the pack
Erythromycin Capsules are gastro-resistant, hard capsules.
These capsules are available in packs of 28 and 30. Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Marketing Authorisation Holder
Athlone Pharmaceuticals Limited, Ballymurray, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
PL 30464/0061
This leaflet was last revised Nov 2015

+ Expand Transcript

Further information

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