What is ERYTHROMYCIN?
(ERYTHROMYCIN) This medication is used to treat certain eye infections (such as conjunctivitis). It is also used to prevent certain eye infections in newborns. It belongs to a class of drugs known as macrolide antibiotics. Erythromycin works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This medication treats only bacterial eye infections. It will not work for other types of eye infections. Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
How should I use ERYTHROMYCIN?
To apply eye ointment, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, be careful not to touch the tip of the tube or let it touch your eye, eyelid, or any other surface. Apply to the eyes only. Do not swallow or inject. Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medication. Sterilize contact lenses according to the manufacturer's directions, and check with your doctor before you begin using them again. To apply eye ointments, tilt your head back, look up, and gently pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Place about a half-inch (1 centimeter) strip of ointment into the pouch as directed by your doctor. Gently close the eye and roll the eyeball in all directions to spread the medication. Try not to blink and do not rub the eye. Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed. Wipe the tip of the ointment tube with a clean tissue to remove extra medication before recapping it. Wait several minutes for your vision to clear before driving or operating machinery. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use it more often than directed. If you are using another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. Continue using it for the full time prescribed. Stopping the medication too soon may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take ERYTHROMYCIN?
Before using erythromycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: contact lens use. After you apply this drug, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether erythromycin passes into breast milk when given as an eye ointment. It is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with ERYTHROMYCIN?
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring. To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.
What if I miss a dose of ERYTHROMYCIN?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving ERYTHROMYCIN?
Eye stinging/burning/redness or temporary blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in other types of eye infections, including fungal infections. Stop using this medication and contact your doctor if you notice new or worsening eye symptoms (such as pain, swelling, thick discharge or pus). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep ERYTHROMYCIN?
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not expose this drug to high heat. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.