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Erythromycin is an antibiotic prescribed to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the antibiotic class of macrolides, which also includes azithromycin, clarithromycin, and fidaxomicin.
The brand names of erythromycin include E.E.S. and EryPed. It is available as oral tablets (regular and delayed release), liquid suspensions, and injections.
Erythromycin is considered a broad-spectrum antibiotic and is effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. This means that it can treat a wide range of bacterial infections, making it an appealing treatment when multiple types of bacteria may be causing an infection, or if the doctor suspects infection by more than one bacteria type at the same time.
How Does Erythromycin Work?
Erythromycin reduces the production of the proteins needed by bacteria to survive. Doing so slows the growth of bacteria or, in some cases, may even kill the bacteria entirely.
What Is Erythromycin Used For?
Erythromycin is prescribed to treat various bacterial infections, including:
- respiratory infections
- prophylaxis of neonatal conjunctivitis
- skin infections
- rheumatic fever
- intestinal amebiasis
- pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Erythromycin may also be mixed with benzoyl peroxide or tretinoin cream to make a treatment for acne.
How to Take Erythromycin?
Erythromycin should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to follow all instructions, including the dosing amount and schedule. Continue taking erythromycin for the complete prescribed duration. You may begin feeling better before the infection is gone completely, but discontinuing erythromycin as soon as your symptoms dissipate increases the risk of lingering bacteria and a recurrent infection.
Those receiving the erythromycin injection for severe infections will infuse it into a vein. Your healthcare provider will often administer the first dose and may then teach you how to properly administer the medication yourself. You should only prepare the injection when you are ready to administer it––do not prepare it beforehand. In addition, do not use the medicine if it has changed colors, looks cloudy, or contains particles—contact your pharmacist for new medication in this case.
For those taking the liquid, you may need to shake it before measuring out a dose. Use only a medicine dose-measuring device or the dosing syringe to measure the medicine and ensure you take the correct amount.
If you take the delayed-release tablet or capsule, swallow it whole––do not chew, crush, or break it. However, those prescribed the chewable tablet must chew it before swallowing.
If you miss a dose of erythromycin, take it as soon as you realize it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose.
In the United States, Erythromycin is available under the following brand names:
Common side effects associated with Erythromycin may include:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
More serious side effects which should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately may include:
- Severe stomach pain
- Watery or bloody diarrhea
- Hearing problems
- Headache accompanied by chest pain and fainting, severe dizziness, or a fast heartbeat
- Liver problems (stomach pain on the upper right side, loss of appetite, easy bruising, tiredness, dark urine, jaundice, clay-colored stool)
- Pancreatitis (nausea, vomiting, severe pain in the upper stomach that spreads to the back)
Some people may be allergic to erythromycin, with symptoms of difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling in the throat or face. Severe skin reactions are also possible, with burning eyes, blistering and peeling of the skin, a red or purple skin rash, and a sore throat possible manifestations. If you experience any symptoms of allergic or severe skin reactions, seek immediate medication attention.
The above lists of possible side effects associated with Erythromycin are not exhaustive and other side effects may occur. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects while taking Erythromycin, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away.
Frequently Asked Questions About Erythromycin
Do You Need a Prescription for Erythromycin?
Yes, you do need a prescription for Erythromycin. Like other antibiotics, Erythromycin is a prescription medication in the United States. This means that it is not available over-the-counter and a healthcare professional must prescribe it to you.
Can You Get an Online Prescription for Erythromycin From DrHouse?
Yes, you can get an online prescription for Erythromycin from DrHouse. Our licensed physicians are able to conduct virtual consultations and prescribe Erythromycin if deemed appropriate after reviewing your medical history and current condition.
For more detailed information about erythromycin, you can refer to the following sources:
Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Can I Get a New Prescription or Refill an Existing One Through DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.
Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.
What Medications Can't be Prescribed Online By DrHouse?
There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
How Do I Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:
- Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
- Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
- Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
- Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
- A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
- If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.
DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.
For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.
What Will My Appointment for a New Prescription or Refill Look Like?
During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.
The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.
You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.
Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.
How Long Does It Get To Get a Prescription Online With DrHouse?
With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
Is It Safe to Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.
All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.
We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.
Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.
How Much Does DrHouse Cost?
DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.
The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.
To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page
Does DrHouse Accept Insurance?
Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.
What Is DrHouse’s Prescription Refill Policy?
Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.
DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.
In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.
DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.