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Erythromycin EC is a broad-spectrum macrolide antibiotic roughly effective at treating the same types of infections as penicillin. It is commonly used when penicillin is unavailable or a patient is allergic to penicillin, though in some scenarios it is preferred even when penicillin is a viable option.The medication is effective at treating:
Erythromycin EC is also used as a preventive measure, inhibiting infection during or after surgery, in cases of severe or widespread burns, and similar scenarios. It is the front-line treatment in many areas for preventing initial attacks of rheumatic fever.
The antibiotic also sees some off-label use, particularly in clearing the bowels, as one of its side effects is stimulation of contractions in the digestive tract, which empties out the gut.
Erythromycin comes in a number of formulations, including fluid for IV or injections, oral suspension for children or patients who have difficulty taking pills, and tablets or capsules. Outside of a medical setting the majority of adults take erythromycin tablets or capsules.
Tablets and capsules are both available in immediate-release or extended-release formulas. Extended-release products must be swallowed whole and are generally taken with less frequency than immediate-release versions. Both immediate- and extended-release products typically have an enteric coating, which is what the EC stands for in this product's name. Enteric coating protects the medication from the highly-acidic conditions in the stomach, preserving it for absorption in the small intestine.
The product sold on this page is immediate-release, enteric-coated capsules. The coating is on the granules inside the capsule, not on the capsule itself. This means capsules may be opened and contents sprinkled on soft foods, such as applesauce, if needed for easier administration. Capsule granules should not be chewed, however; the food should be soft and moist enough to be swallowed without chewing.
Taking Erythromycin EC
Like most medications, dosage and administration of erythromycin EC may vary to some extent depending on individual factors, such as weight, age, other medical conditions and so forth. The biggest factors influencing treatment are, of course, the type and severity of the infection.
In otherwise healthy adults treatment is roughly similar in eradicating infections:
In children dosage is largely dependent on weight:
Most patients notice considerable improvements within a day or two of starting treatment. As with any antibiotic, it's important to continue treatment even if all symptoms disappear; failure to do so may result in a return of the infection, as well as contribute to resistant bacteria.
If the infection worsens at any time during treatment, or symptoms remain when treatment is supposed to end, the condition should be brought to the attention of a doctor.
No current Rx required
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.