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Erythromycin (Injection)

Erythromycin (e-rith-roe-MYE-sin)

Treats infections. Also helps prevent heart infections and rheumatic fever. This medicine is a macrolide antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

Erythrocin Lactobionate

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to erythromycin.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how erythromycin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Alfentanil, bromocriptine, carbamazepine, cyclosporine, digoxin, disopyramide, lovastatin, phenytoin, theophylline, valproate
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart rhythm problems, or myasthenia gravis.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Liver problems
    • Heart rhythm problems
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Hearing loss
  • Severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild diarrhea
  • Pain, itching, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/18/2015

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