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Applies to erythromycin: oral capsule delayed release, oral powder for suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet delayed release, oral tablet enteric coated
Other dosage forms:
Oral route (Suspension)
Erythromycin estolate is contraindicated in patients with preexisting liver disease. Hepatic dysfunction with or without jaundice has occurred, mainly in adults. It may be accompanied by malaise, nausea, vomiting, abdominal colic, fever, and in some instances, severe abdominal pain may lead to an abdominal surgical emergency. Discontinue erythromycin promptly if the above findings occur.
Along with its needed effects, erythromycin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking erythromycin:
Incidence not known
Some side effects of erythromycin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to erythromycin: compounding powder, injectable powder for injection, oral capsule, oral delayed release capsule, oral delayed release tablet, oral granule for reconstitution, oral suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet coated particlesGeneral
The most common side effects associated with oral erythromycin were gastrointestinal and were dose-related.Gastrointestinal
Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms has been reported during or after antibacterial therapy.
Rare (less than 0.1%): Pancreatitis, pancreatitis without biliary obstruction
Frequency not reported: Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, pseudomembranous colitis, Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (ranging from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis)Cardiovascular
Life-threatening episodes of ventricular tachycardia associated with prolonged QT interval (torsades de pointes) have been reported following IV administration of erythromycin lactobionate.
QT prolongation has been reported both in otherwise healthy patients and in patients with a history of heart disease or who were on other potentially arrhythmogenic drugs. Most affected patients were receiving erythromycin intravenously. In a recent retrospective study of 278 consecutive patients who had received IV erythromycin lactobionate, 39% of 49 evaluable patients developed moderate to severe delay in ventricular repolarization (QTc interval greater than or equal to 500 msec) during treatment. Of the 278 patients, torsade de pointes was observed in one patient (less than 0.4%).
Arrhythmias and hypotension have been reported following IV administration.
One case of erythromycin-related polymorphous ventricular tachycardia reported in a patient treated for pneumonia was characterized by a normal QT interval.
Frequency not reported: QT prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, arrhythmias, hypotension, polymorphous ventricular tachycardia
Postmarketing reports: Torsades de pointesHepatic
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatotoxicity, fulminant hepatic necrosis, false isolated elevations of serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) enzymes
Frequency not reported: Hepatic dysfunction (including increased liver enzymes), hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis (with or without jaundice), transient elevations of liver function tests, hepatitis, abnormal liver function test results, intrahepatic cholestasis
Hepatic dysfunction (including increased liver enzymes) and hepatocellular and/or cholestatic hepatitis (with or without jaundice) have been reported with oral erythromycin.Hypersensitivity
Frequency not reported: Allergic reactions (ranging from urticaria to anaphylaxis), hypersensitivity reactions (presented as rash, eosinophilia, fever), hypersensitivity with noninfectious hepatitisDermatologic
Rare (less than 0.1%): Skin rash, maculopapular rashes (generalized, pruritic)
Frequency not reported: Skin reactions (ranging from mild eruptions to erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis)Nervous system
Rare (less than 0.1%): Convulsions, reversible hearing loss, reversible ototoxicity
Frequency not reported: Exacerbation of myasthenia gravis symptoms, new onset of myasthenic syndrome
Reversible hearing loss was reported primarily in patients with renal dysfunction and in patients receiving high doses of erythromycin.
Several published reviews have indicated that ototoxicity was associated with erythromycin dosages greater than 4 grams per day, preexisting liver or kidney disease, and advanced age. Recovery generally occurred within two weeks.Hematologic
A case of hemolytic anemia has been reported in a patient with severe underlying diseases and erythromycin-associated hepatitis.
Rare (less than 0.1%): Reversible agranulocytosis
Frequency not reported: Hemolytic anemiaRenal
Frequency not reported: Interstitial nephritisPsychiatric
Rare (less than 0.1%): Recurrent nightmaresLocal
Slow infusion of diluted erythromycin (continuously or intermittently over no less than 20 to 60 minutes) almost invariably alleviated venous irritation.
Rare (less than 0.1%): Venous irritation with IV administration
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