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Erythromycin

Erythromycin

Overview

E-Mycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against a large number of bacteria. It helps fight infections in many places in the body including the urinary, genital and digestive tracts, lungs, heart, ears, throat and skin.

Side Effects and Interactions

The most frequent side effects of erythromycin-type antibiotics involve digestive tract upset. Stomach pain and cramping are not uncommon.

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea can be troublesome for some people.

Less common adverse reactions include jaundice, pale stools, confusion, hairy tongue, itching of the
anus or vagina and hearing loss, especially in older people or individuals with kidney problems. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

E-Mycin can interact with several other medicines including the asthma drug theophylline,
the anti-seizure medication Tegretol, the blood thinner Coumadin, the sleeping pill Halcion and the migraine medicine ergotamine.

It should not be taken by people who are also taking the antihistamines Seldane or Hismanal, as it could lead to a dangerous build-up of these drugs in the body.

Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure E-Mycin is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

Because E-Mycin, like other erythromycins, is eliminated from the body by the liver, this drug should be used very cautiously, if at all, by people with liver problems.

Anyone with a history of allergy to erythromycin-type antibiotics should probably avoid E-Mycin.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, rash and itching. In rare instances allergy may trigger life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Taking the Medicine

E-Mycin is an enteric-coated tablet and may be taken with or without food. Doses are usually spaced evenly throughout the day. Check with your physician or pharmacist for specific instructions.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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