Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergic reactions: Hives and mild rashes as well as infrequent serious allergic reactions have been reported by people taking this medication. Erythromycin should be taken with caution by anyone who has had any form of allergy to medications. If you experience an allergic reaction to erythromycin, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor.
Diarrhea: This medication is associated a serious infection called Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, caused by the bacteria C. difficile. This can occur as late as 2 months after your last dose of this medication. If you have loose, watery bowel movements that are green, foul-smelling, or bloody that may be accompanied by fever after taking erythromycin, get medical attention as soon as possible.
Liver problems: People with reduced liver function should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
There have been reports of liver problems occurring in a small percentage of people taking erythromycin products, particularly erythromycin estolate. Anyone experiencing yellowing of the pigments of their eyes or skin (suggestive of jaundice) should see their doctor.
Myasthenia gravis: Use of this medication may aggravate this condition.
Overgrowth of organisms: Prolonged or repeated use of erythromycin may result in an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi and organisms that are not killed by the medication. This can cause problems such as yeast infections.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking erythromycin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety of erythromycin for use by newborns has not been established.