What is Erythrogel® (erythromycin) used for?
Erythromycin gel is a topical macrolide antibiotic, it works by slowing the growth of bacteria on the skin, which causes acne.
It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How should I take Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
To take Erythrogel®,
- Wash affected areas with soap and water. Rinse well and pat dry before applying the medicine.
- Cover the affected and surrounding area with a thin film of medicine. Spread the medicine lightly over the affected areas rather than rubbing it in. Allow the medicine to dry.
- Wash your hands immediately after applying erythromycin gel.
- Erythromycin gel works best if it is used at the same time each day.
- To clear up your infection completely, take erythromycin gel for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use erythromycin gel.
How do I store Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
Erythrogel® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Erythrogel® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Erythrogel® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Erythrogel® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
Do not use erythromycin gel if:
- You are allergic to any ingredient in erythromycin gel.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Erythrogel® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Erythrogel®. Erythrogel® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
Erythromycin gel is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breastfeeding while you use erythromycin gel, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
What side effects can occur from Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Mild stinging
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
- Bloody stools
- Irritation of the eyes
- Itching, burning, tenderness, or redness of skin
- Severe diarrhea
- Stomach cramps/pain
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What drugs may interact with Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
Erythrogel® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products may interact with this drug including:
- Efavirenz or rifampin because they may decrease erythromycin gel’s effectiveness.
- Arsenic, cimetidine, diltiazem, dofetilide, HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir), imidazoles (e.g., ketoconazole), pimozide, QT-prolonging agents (e.g., quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin), streptogramins (e.g., quinupristin/dalfopristin), orverapamil because side effects, such as heart toxicity or irregular heartbeat, may occur.
- Anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin), aldosterone blockers (e.g., spironolactone), alfentanil, arsenic, astemizole, benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam), bromocriptine, buspirone, carbamazepine, cilostazol, cisapride, clozapine, corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone), cyclosporine, digitoxin, digoxin, disopyramide, ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine), felodipine, H1 antagonists (e.g., diphenhydramine), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (e.g., simvastatin), imatinib, macrolide immunosuppressants (e.g., tacrolimus), meglitinide antidiabetics (e.g., repaglinide), midazolam, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil), pimozide, QT-prolonging agents (e.g., quinidine, sotalol), quinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin), rifampin, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g., fluoxetine), sumatriptan, theophyllines, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), valproic acid, or vinca alkaloids (e.g., vincristine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by erythromycin gel.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if erythromycin gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Does food or alcohol interact with Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
Erythrogel® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Erythrogel® (erythromycin)?
Erythrogel® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
- You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
- You have liver disease or you have a blood disorder called porphyria.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Erythrogel® (erythromycin).
What is the dose of Erythrogel® (erythromycin) for an adult?
Spread gently over affected areas (without rubbing in) once or twice a day.
Areas to be treated should be cleansed prior to application. The duration of therapy depends on the response of the patient. Maximum response may not occur for up to 12 weeks.
What is the dose of Erythrogel® (erythromycin) for a child?
<12 years, safety and effectiveness have not been established.
>=12 years, spread gently over affected areas (without rubbing in) once or twice a day. Areas to be treated should be cleansed prior to application. The duration of therapy depends on the response of the patient. Maximum response may not occur for up to 12 weeks.
How is Erythrogel® (erythromycin) available?
Erythrogel® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Gel; Topical; Erythromycin 4%
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Erythrogel®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Erythrogel® (erythromycin) Drug Information. http://www.catalog.md/drugs/Erythrogel.html. Accessed November 6, 2016
Erythromycin gel. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/erythromycin-gel.html. Accessed November 6, 2016
Erythromycin topical. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/erythromycin-topical.html. Accessed November 6, 2016
ERYTHROGE. http://www.medicatione.com/?c=drug&s=Erythrogel. Accessed November 6, 2016
Review Date: December 22, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019