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Information about Erythromycin

Erythromycin is an oral macrolide antibiotic that has been in common use since the 1950s.

Liver safety of Erythromycin

Erythromycin has been linked to rare instances of acute liver injury that are usually self-limited, but can result in severe injury and death.

Mechanism of action of Erythromycin

Erythromycin (e rith" roe mye' sin) is a semisynthetic macrolide antibiotic used widely for many decades to treat mild-to-moderate bacterial infections caused by sensitive agents.

Clinical use of Erythromycin

Erythromycin is bacteriostatic against many gram positive bacteria including many strains of streptococci, staphylococci, clostridia, corynebacteria, listeria, haemophilus sp., moxicella, and Neisseria meningitidis. Modifications of erythromycin have been developed with a wider range of activity and less likelihood for resistance (azithromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin). The macrolide antibiotics are believed to act by inhibiting protein synthesis of bacteria by binding to the 50S ribosomal element. Resistance occurs by several mechanisms.

FDA approval information for Erythromycin

Erythromycin was approved for use in the United States in 1967, and currently more than 1.5 million prescriptions are filled yearly. Specific indications include mild-to-moderate upper or lower respiratory tract infections, urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, urogenital chlamydia infections, Legionnaires’ disease, and intestinal amebiasis. Erythromycin is commonly used as a second-line agent when penicillin, tetracyclines or metronidazole are contraindicated.

Dosage and administration for Erythromycin

Erythromycin is available in multiple formulations (estolate, ethylsuccinate, lactobionate, stearate) in many generic and brand name forms in capsules or tablets of 250 or 500 mg including enteric coated and delayed release forms. The usual adult dose is 1 to 4 grams daily in divided doses for 7 to 21 days, depending upon the type, nature and severity of the infection. Gastrointestinal side effects (abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea) are common, but are rarely severe.

The following are macrolides

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