erythromycin lactobionate 500 mg intravenous solution

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Medication name

Generic name:
Erythromycin lactobionate - intravenous

Pronunciation
(eh-rith-row-MY-sin lack-toe-BYE-oh-nate)

Brand name(s)
Erythrocin

Uses

Erythromycin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It may also be used to prevent certain bacterial infections. Erythromycin is known as a macrolide antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

This antibiotic treats or prevents only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.

How to use

This medication is usually given by injection into a vein as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 hours. It should be injected slowly over 20 to 60 minutes. Erythromycin may also be given continuously.

You should use this injectable medication only until you are able to take an antibiotic by mouth or until your treatment is finished. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment.

If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.

For the best effect, use this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, use this medication at the same time(s) every day.

If you are using this medication to treat an infection, continue to use this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

If you are using this medication to prevent certain bacterial infections, use it exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not stop using the medication without your doctor's approval.

Side effects

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea/loose stools, stomach pain, or pain/redness at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, 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.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop
  • hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss)
  • severe abdominal/stomach pain
  • unusual weakness/tiredness
  • dark urine
  • yellowing skin/eyes
  • muscle weakness

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • severe dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast/irregular heartbeat

This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition due to a bacteria called C. difficile. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop:

  • diarrhea that doesn't stop
  • abdominal or stomach pain/cramping
  • blood/mucus in your stool

If you have these symptoms, do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid products because they may make symptoms worse.

Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches/sores in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away 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.

Precautions

Before using erythromycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any other macrolide/ketolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, azithromycin); 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:

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • a certain type of muscle disease (myasthenia gravis)

Erythromycin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work well. Tell your health care professional that you are using erythromycin before having any immunizations/vaccinations.

Erythromycin may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using erythromycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:

  • certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
  • family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using erythromycin safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Babies may be at higher risk for a certain serious stomach problem. Contact your child's doctor right away if your child vomits or becomes irritable with feeding.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially hearing loss and QT prolongation (see above).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

A product that may interact with this drug is:

  • digoxin

Many drugs besides erythromycin may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol, among others.

Other medications can affect the removal of erythromycin from your body, which may affect how erythromycin works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), certain calcium channel blockers (such as diltiazem, verapamil), quinupristin-dalfopristin, saquinavir, certain drugs for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, valproate), among others.

This medication can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples include bromocriptine, certain benzodiazepines (alprazolam, midazolam, triazolam), colchicine, eletriptan, certain drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, tadalafil), ergot alkaloids (such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), certain "statin" drugs (such as lovastatin, simvastatin), vinblastine, among others.

This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as urine tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call 1-844-764-7669.

Notes

Lab and/or medical tests may be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed dose

It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications 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.

Important note

HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Information last revised May 2024.

Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.

The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.