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Facts about the skin from DermNet New Zealand Trust. Topic index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Erythromycin

Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic prescribed by dermatologists for a variety of skin conditions including:

Erythromycin is particularly useful in individuals allergic to penicillin.

It is active against many gram-positive organisms (including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, corynebacteria and clostridia) and some gram-negative organisms (Neisseria gonorrhoeae,). It is also effective for mycoplasma infections, syphilis and chlamydia.

Unfortunately, increasing resistance is being reported. In Hamilton, New Zealand, about 14% of Staphylococcus aureus are resistant to erythromycin.

Erythromycin is best taken fasting or just before meals. It comes in a number of bases and formulations.

It is available in New Zealand as the base compound:

The estolate salt is:

The ethyl succinate salt is:

The stearate salt is:

In addition, it is available as a topical preparation for acne (Eryacne gel, Stiemycin solution).

Side effects

Erythromycin is generally well tolerated. It is thought that it can be used safely in pregnancy and during breast feeding.

The following side effects are uncommon.

Drug interactions

Erythromycin can interact with other medications. Tell your doctor the names of all medications you are taking, whether prescribed or purchased without prescription.

Erythromycin can increase the concentration of the following medications resulting in potentially toxic levels:

Related information

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Authors: DermNet Editorial Board

Note:

The New Zealand approved datasheet is the official source of information for this prescription medicine, including approved uses and risk information. Check the New Zealand datasheet on the Medsafe website.

DermNet NZ does not provide an online consultation service.
If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.