Erythromycin is a popular and effective antibiotic taken by patients to treat a number of infections. Before you start using it, you need to visit your doctor to find out more about possible side effects, unwanted drug interactions, recommended doses and so on.
Common Uses of Erythromycin
Nowadays, this medication is taken to treat the following medical conditions:
Erythramsa and diphtheria;
PID and pertussis;
Intestinal amebiasis and listeria;
Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia as an alternative antibiotic.
Besides, Erythromycin is also prescribed to those patients who have any allergies to penicillin to prevent endocarditis and recurrent rheumatic fever. There are some uses of this medicine that aren’t approved by the FDA, and they include tetanus, acne and Lyme disease.
Important Warnings and Possible Adverse Effects
The use of Erythromycin is associated with abnormal liver damage and tests. Just like other antibiotics, this medication may alter normal bacteria in a colon and result in overgrowth of certain bacteria that are responsible for inflammation. If you notice any signs of this condition, such as fever, diarrhea and stomach pain, you should contact your doctor to adjust your treatment.
Some of the most common side effects caused by Erythromycin include the following:
Vomiting and nausea;
Stomach pain and diarrhea;
Loss of appetite.
However, these gastrointestinal symptoms are dose-related, so they are more common for higher doses. There are certain allergic reactions that patients may develop when taking Erythromycin, and they include rash, hives and even anaphylaxis. The good news is that all the above-mentioned side effects are rare, and most of them are mild.
Recommended Erythromycin Doses
The most common dose for adult patients is 250 mg taken each 6 hours, or patients are advised by their doctors to take Erythromycin 333 mg each 8 hours and 500 mg twice a day. Their regular doses can be increased based on the severity of specific infections and other important factors, such as individual response and developed side effects. For children, their regular dosage is 30-50 mg taken on a daily basis, and it also depends on their weight, age and infections. It’s possible to use Erythromycin both with and without food, but most doctors advise to take this medication on an empty stomach to achieve optimal blood levels.
Unwanted Drug Interactions
If you combine this medicine with antiarrhythmic pills, such as Bretylol, Tikosyn and others, you risk ending up with irregular heart rhythms. In addition, theophyllines often decrease the blood levels of Erythromycin, so these meds shouldn’t be combined. You also need to avoid combining this medication with ergotamine because of an increased risk of having acute ergot toxicity. Erythromycin is responsible for the right elimination of Coumadin from the human body.