DRUG ZONE ERYTHROMYCIN

Erythromycin is in the class of antibiotics known as macrolide antibiotics which also includes azithromycin and clarithromycin. It is used to treat several types of infections of upper and lower respiratory tracts, skin infections, acute pelvic inflammatory disease  etc. caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and many others.

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Description

Composition: Each film coated tablet contains … Erythromycin Stearate BP 500mg.

Pharmacological category and Mechanism of action: Erythromycin is in the class of antibiotics known as macrolide antibiotics which also includes azithromycin and clarithromycin. It is used to treat several types of infections of upper and lower respiratory tracts, skin infections, acute pelvic inflammatory disease  etc. caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and many others. Erythromycin, like all macrolide antibiotics, prevents bacterial cells from growing and multiplying by interfering with their ability to make proteins while not affecting human cells. Bacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae are resistant to erythromycin alone and must be treated with a combination of erythromycin and adequate doses of sulfonamides.

Indications: Erythromycin is used to treat streptococcal infections of the throat and skin. It is used for infections of the lung (pneumonia) caused by streptococcal pneumoniae, mycoplasma pneumoniae, and legionella pneumophila (legionnaires disease). Erythromycin is used to treat acute pelvic inflammatory disease, diphtheria, erythrasma, whooping cough, listeriosis, and intestinal amebiasis. It is used for the treatment of staphylococcal infections of the skin and as an alternative antibiotic for the treatment of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Erythromycin is used in patients who are allergic to penicillin for the prevention of recurrent rheumatic fever and infections of the hearts’ valves (endocarditis) in patients with valvular abnormalities of the heart before they undergo dental treatments.

Dosing: The usual dosage for adults is 250 mg every 6 hours, 333 mg every 8 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours. Doses may be increased up to 4 g/day according to the severity of the infection.

In children, the usual dosage is 30 to 50 mg/kg/day with age, weight, and severity of the infection being taken into consideration to determine the appropriate dosage.

Erythromycin may be taken with or without food; however optimal blood levels of erythromycin are obtained when taken on an empty stomach (at least 30 minutes and preferably 2 hours before or after meals).

Side effects: The most frequent side effects of erythromycin are nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These gastrointestinal side effects are usually dose-related, i.e., more pronounced with higher doses. Allergic reactions such as hives, rash, or anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction which can lead to shock and death) have been reported rarely. Abnormal liver tests and liver damage also may occur with erythromycin.

Use in pregnancy and breast feeding: Erythromycin crosses the placenta, but its level in the blood of the fetus is low. There are no adequate studies in pregnant women, hence pregnant women should only use erythromycin if it is felt that the benefits of treatment outweigh the potential but unknown risks.

Erythromycin is excreted in breast milk; however, erythromycin is considered by the American Academy of Pediatrics to be compatible with breast-feeding. Caution should be exercised, however, when erythromycin is prescribed to women who are breast-feeding.

Drug interactions: Erythromycin inhibits the breakdown of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) by the liver leading to increased levels of statins in the blood. High levels of statins could result in severe myopathy with rhabdomyolysis that may damage the kidneys or even lead to death. Erythromycin also can elevate blood levels of some anti-seizure drugs such as carbamazepine by preventing the breakdown of the anti-seizure drug by the liver. Therefore, doses of the anti-seizure drugs may need to be reduced during treatment with erythromycin.

Due to potential serious and even fatal heart problems, erythromycin should not be taken with terfenadine, astemizole, pimozide or cisapride.

Grapefruit juice may prevent the breakdown of erythromycin, resulting in elevated levels of erythromycin in the blood. Therefore, it is important to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice during treatment with erythromycin.

Identification:  DRUG ZONE ERYTHROMYCIN comes in pink colored, oblong, film-coated tablets having break line on one side presented as 1×10 Alu-Alu blister in a green carton.

For detailed product information, please read the leaflet insert.

DRUG ZONE ERYTHROMYCIN is a prescription only medicine (POM)

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