An antibiotic used to treat and prevent various infections caused by bacteria.


A macrolide antibiotic used to treat and prevent a variety of bacterial infections.


Erythromycin is a bacteriostatic antibiotic drug produced by a strain of Saccharopolyspora erythraea (formerly Streptomyces erythraeus) and belongs to the macrolide group of antibiotics which consists of [Azithromycin], [Clarithromycin], [Spiramycin] and others. It was originally discovered in 1952.[20] Erythromycin is widely used for treating a variety of infections, including those caused by gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.[20,21] It is available for administration in various forms, including intravenous, topical, and eye drop preparations.[20]



Erythromycin is indicated in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible strains of various bacteria.[21] The indications for erythromyc... Read more


Macrolides, such as erythromycin, stop bacterial growth by inhibiting protein synthesis and translation, treating bacterial infections.[ Read more

Mechanism of action

In order to replicate, bacteria require a specific process of protein synthesis, enabled by ribosomal proteins.[ Read more


Orally administered erythromycin is readily absorbed. Food intake does not appear to exert effects on serum concentrations of erythromycin.[21]... Read more

Protein binding

Erythromycin demonstrates 93% serum protein binding in the erythromycin propionate form.[7] Another r... Read more

Volume of distribution

Erythromycin is found in most body fluids and accumulates in leucocytes and inflammatory liquid.[21, Read more


The clearance of erythromycin in healthy subjects was 0.53 ± 0.13 l/h/kg after a 125mg intravenous dose.[ Read more

Half life

The elimination half-life of oral erythromycin was 3.5 hours according to one study[6] and ranged be... Read more

Route of elimination

In patients with normal liver function, erythromycin concentrates in the liver and is then excreted in the bile.[22]Under 5% of the orally administered dose of erythromycin is found exc... Read more



The oral LD50 of erythromycin in rats is 9272 mg/kg.[23]

Overdose information

Symptoms of overdose may include diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Erythromycin should immediately be disco... Read more

Adverse Effects

Effect Regions Age Groups Incidences Evidence Type
Burning US
  • Kind: experimental
    • Percent: 25%
  • Clinical Trial
    Torsade de Pointes US
    Oiliness US
    Clinical Trial
    Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis US
    Stevens-Johnson Syndrome US
    Abnormal Liver Function Tests US
    Hepatic dysfunction US
    Pseudomembranous Colitis US
    Anorexia US
    Diarrhea US
    Abdominal Pain US
    Vomiting US
    Nausea US
    Urticaria US
    Anaphylaxis US
    Skin Reactions US
    Erythemia multiforme US
    Ventricular Arrhythmia US
    Ventricular Tachycardia US
    Torsades de Pointes US
    Hypersensitivity Reaction US
    C. difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) US
    Interstitial nephritis US
    Pancreatitis US
    Convulsion US
    SJS US
    TEN US
    QTc prolongation US
    Jaundice US
    Erythema US
    Clinical Trial
    Tenderness of the skin US
    Clinical Trial
    Irritation of the eyes US
    Clinical Trial
    Peeling US
    Clinical Trial
    Reversible hearing loss US
    Itching US
    Clinical Trial
    Dryness US
    Clinical Trial
    Hypersensitivity reactions US
    Clinical Trial


    • Route:
      • Oral
    • Regions: US
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Simvastatin
        • Drugbank Id: DB00641
    • Route:
      • Oral
    • Regions: US
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Lovastatin
        • Drugbank Id: DB00227
    • Route:
      • Oral
    • Hypersensitivity:
      • true
    • Regions: US
    • Regions: Canada
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Dihydroergotamine
        • Drugbank Id: DB00320
    • Regions: Canada
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Ergotamine
        • Drugbank Id: DB00696
    • Recommended Actions:
      • Do not administer erythromycin estolate in pregnancy
      • Administer other forms of erythromycin
    • Regions: Canada
    • Patient Conditions:
        • Name: Pregnancy
        • Drugbank Id: DBCOND0018394
    • Regions: US
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Cisapride
        • Drugbank Id: DB00604
    • Regions: US
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Pimozide
        • Drugbank Id: DB01100
    • Regions: US
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Astemizole
        • Drugbank Id: DB00637
    • Regions: US
    • With Drugs:
        • Name: Terfenadine
        • Drugbank Id: DB00342

    Food Interactions

    Avoid grapefruit products.

    Take on an empty stomach. Allow approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours before meals, as this increases erythromycin absorption.

    Take with a full glass of water.