Active substance(s): ERYTHROMYCIN
PLEASE READ THIS LEAFLET CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU START
TAKING THIS MEDICINE
KEEP THIS LEAFLET UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED ALL THE
PRESCRIBED COURSE OF RETCIN.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING YOUR MEDICINE
ASK YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST FOR MORE
What is in your medicine?
The name of this medicine is RETCIN. It contains the active
ingredient Erythromycin Ph.Eur. 274 mg.
Each Retcin tablet also contains the inactive ingredients: lactose,
maize starch, potato starch, sodium starch glycollate, magnesium
stearate, cellacephate, diethylphthalate, colour Ponceau 4R
(E124), carnauba wax, beeswax, acetone, methanol,
Retcin is a round, red, film-coated tablet of 250 mg strength,
available in containers of 28, 30, 50, 56, 60, 84, 100, 250, 500
and 1000 tablets.
The name and address of the Product Licence holder of Retcin
tablets is Chelonia Heathcare Limited, 11 Boumpoulinas, 1060
The name and address of the manufacturer of Retcin tablets is
Meridian Healthcare (UK) Ltd., Rich Industrial Estate, Chatfield
Road, off York Road, Battersea, London SW11 3SE.
How does Retcin work?
Retcin is an antibiotic that acts on bacteria sensitive to
Why have you been prescribed Retcin?
Retcin is used for the prevention and treatment of infections
caused by Erythromycin sensitive organisms. It is used in the
• Chest infections
• Skin and soft tissue infections
• Bone infections
• Mouth and dental infections
• Stomach infections
• Eye infections
• Sexually transmitted diseases
• Legionnaire’s Disease
Before taking Retcin
Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have ever had
any unusual or allergic reactions to Erythromycin or any of the
other ingredients of Retcin, or any other antibiotics. This product
contains lactose and is unsuitable for people with lactase
insufficiency, galactosaemia or glucose/galactose malabsorption
syndrome. Retcin also contains the colour Ponceau 4R (E124)
which may cause allergic-type reactions including asthma.
Allergy is more common in those people who are allergic to
Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any
other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
It is important that you tell your doctor if you are pregnant,
breast-feeding or likely to become pregnant.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of
this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have:
• liver problems for which you have or are receiving
• kidney problems
• heart problems or a condition known as porphyria
Use in pregnancy and while breast-feeding
Erythromycin has not been shown to be harmful during
Ask your doctor for advice before breast-feeding whilst taking
these tablets as erythromycin can pass into breast milk.
Can you drive or operate machinery when taking
Retcin will not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
Can you take Retcin with other medicines?
There are some medicines that can interfere with Retcin. It is
very important to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the
medicines that you are taking, whether or not any medicines
were prescribed by your doctor or bought without a
prescription from the pharmacy or elsewhere. Your doctor will
be able to identify medicines you should not take with Retcin.
Especially make sure to tell your doctor if you have or are taking
a medicine known as Terfenadine (which you may have
purchased over-the-counter), or Astemizole both used for hay
fever and relief of allergies. They should not be taken together
with Retcin, they could damage your heart.
Cisapride – for stomach disorders and Pimozide and Sertindole
– for psychiatric disorders all cause irregular heart beat when
taken with Retcin.
Ergotamine and di-hydroergotamine used for attacks of
migraine which can lead to toxic reactions when taken with
Retcin may increase the blood thinning effect of coumarins.
Other medicines which interfere with Retcin include:
Simvastatin and Atorvastatin used to reduce cholesterol
levels. Digoxin and Disopyramide used to treat heart
conditions, Warfarin used to thin the blood,
Carbamazepine used to treat epilepsy and to prevent
manic-depressive illness, Phenytoin used to treat epilepsy,
Eletriptan – for migraine, Theophylline used to treat
obstruction of airways including severe asthma,
Ciclosporin used to treat psoriasis, Mizolastine for allergic
or itchy skin rash, Methylprednisolone to treat
inflammatory conditions, Bromocriptine and Cabergoline
used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, Triazolam
an anti-fungal medicine, Ritonavir to treat HIV, the
sedatives Midazolam and Zopiclone, Clozapine for
mental disorders, Reboxetine for depressive illness,
Tolterodine for urinary problems, Corticosteroids,
Sirolimus and Tacrolimus used following organ
transplants, the antibacterial Rifabutin, Lercanidipine for
high blood pressure and Vinblastine to stop the growth of
Retcin can also affect the blood concentration of certain other
medicines you may be taking. Your doctor will have more
When and how to take Retcin tablets
Take this medicine by mouth and only in the doses prescribed by
your doctor. Do not take more of it, and do not take it more often
or for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Usual dosages stated below:
The medicine is to be taken by mouth. Do not crush or bite, but
Adults and children over 8 years: 1-2 g (four to eight tablets)
daily in divided doses for mild to moderate infection. This
dosage may be increased to 4 g (sixteen tablets) daily in divided
doses. Tablets should be taken before or with meals.
Elderly: as for adults.
Length of medication with regard to treatment of particular
Upper respiratory tract infections:
5 to 10 days
Lower respiratory tract infections:
7 to 14 days or until the signs and symptoms indicate that the
condition is cured. Legionnaire's Disease requires prolonged
Skin and soft tissue infections:
5 to 10 days. Acne may require prolonged treatment.
Sexually transmitted diseases:
Gonorrhoea and syphilis: 10 to 21 days. Some conditions may
require prolonged treatment.
Oral and dental infections: at least 5 days.
Eye infections - Chlamydia inclusion conjunctivitis: 3 weeks.
Gastro-intestinal infections - Campylobacter: a minimum of 5
What to do if too many tablets are taken at the same
If you think you may have taken an overdose of this medicine,
contact your doctor at once or go to the nearest hospital casualty
department. Tell the doctor in charge, or the nurse or pharmacist,
that you are taking this medicine and also tell them whether you
have taken any other medicines. Take with you any remaining
tablets in their original container so they may be identified.
What if you miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your
regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
If you feel that this medicine is not working as well after you
have taken it for a short time (1-2 weeks) do not increase the
dose, instead check with your doctor.
Your doctor will prescribe the lowest dose necessary to control your
What side effects can Retcin cause?
Like all medicines, Erythromycin can have side effects.
If you start to suffer from a rash, itching or any other skin trouble
whilst taking this medicine, STOP the treatment and tell
your doctor immediately. These may be signs of allergy to this
medicine. If you develop swelling of the face and/or throat or
difficulty in breathing you may require emergency treatment and
you should seek medical advice immediately.
Contact a doctor immediately if you experience a serious skin
reaction: a red, scaly rash with bumps under the skin and
blisters (exanthematous pustulosis). The frequency of this side
effect is not known (cannot be estimated from the available
Hepatitis and liver dysfunction may occur. This may show as
yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes, abdominal
discomfort and loss of appetite.
If you are taking a high dose of your medicine, you may find
that you lose your hearing, which should only be temporary.
Erythromycin can sometimes cause nausea, vomiting, stomach
pain or diarrhoea. A diarrhoeal disease (pseudomembranous
colitis) may also occur. This may show as watery diarrhoea,
fever and cramps. Occasionally Retcin can cause a skin condition
known as erythema multiforme, which is characterised by
patches of red, raised skin that often look like targets, and
unusual tiredness, fever and painful joints. Rarely flaking of the
skin may occur due to a condition known as toxic epidermal
On rare occasions you may experience muscle weakness or your
heart may be affected and you may experience chest pain and
irregular heart beat.
If you have these or any other ill-effects, tell your doctor.
Storing your medicine
You must keep the medicine in a safe place where children
cannot get it. Your medicine could harm them.
Keep container tightly closed. Protect from light. Store below
25°C in a dry place. Keep the tablets in the container in which
they were given to you.
If your doctor tells you to stop the treatment, return any
remaining tablets to the doctor or pharmacist.
On the label you will find the words "Expiry Date" followed by
numbers indicating the day, month and year. This is the date
when the medicine is no longer fit for use. Do not use the
medicine after this date but return it to your doctor or
REMEMBER this medicine is for you. Never give it to
someone else, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.
This leaflet does not contain the complete information about
your medicine. If you have any questions or are not sure about
anything, ask your doctor or pharmacist who have access to
This leaflet was revised in December 2017.