Erythromycin 250mg

  • Treats Rosacea
  • Kills the bacteria responsible for acne and rosacea
  • Available as a 6 or 12 week course

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What is Erythromycin?

Erythromycin is a prescription-only treatment that belongs to a group of medicines known as macrolide antibiotics.

Macrolide antibiotics work by killing bacteria responsible for causing and spreading infection and can be used to treat acute and chronic infections. 

It is prescribed for a range of conditions, including chest infections like pneumonia, skin problems such as acne and rosacea, oral abscesses, and sexually transmitted diseases. 

Erythromycin 250mg tablets are typically prescribed to treat rosacea in people who are intolerant and unable to take other tetracycline antibiotics. 

When you use Erythromycin to treat acne or rosacea, it may take up to 2 months or longer before you start to see an improvement in your symptoms.

What is Erythromycin 250mg used to treat?

Erythromycin is prescribed as a treatment for a variety of conditions. It is commonly prescribed for:

  • acne
  • rosacea
  • dental abscesses
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • chest infections.

It can also help to treat scarlet fever and various other types of infections.

It can also be prescribed for children to treat ear infections and skin infections.

When using Erythromycin tablets to treat an infection, you should start to feel better after just a few days. However, as a treatment for acne or rosacea, it may take a few months for the problem to get better.

How does Erythromycin work?

Erythromycin works by killing and stopping the spread of bacteria responsible for causing infection. By preventing bacteria from spreading, erythromycin limits the surface area in which the bacteria can grow and spread, eventually killing the bacteria. 

Who can use Erythromycin?

Erythromycin is an effective macrolide antibiotic medication which can treat a number of conditions. Nonetheless, it may not be suitable for everyone to use.

Do not use this treatment if:

  • You are allergic to erythromycin or any of the other ingredients contained in this medicine, or any other macrolide antibiotics
  • You have unusually low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood
  • You or anyone in your family has a history of heart rhythm disorders or electrocardiogram abnormality
  • You have any liver problems or have been informed that any medicines you are using may cause liver problems
  • You have suffered diarrhoea after using antibiotics in the past
  • You have heart problems
  • You have triglycerides in the blood
  • You are taking any medicines that are known to cause disturbances to the heart rhythm

Speak to your doctor before using Erythromycin if you suffer from myasthenia gravis.

When will Erythromycin clear my Rosacea/Acne?

 For skin infections it may take up to 2 months of longer before yu start to see any improvement to your symptoms. 

It is important that you continue to take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better or your infection/skin has cleared up. Do not stop taking Erythromycin unless advised to do so by your doctor.

How do I take Erythromycin?

Swallow Erythromycin tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.

It is recommended to take the tablets with food.

Try to space your doses evenly throughout the day, for example taking 1 tablet in the morning and one in the early evening.

Before using this medicine, please read the patient information leaflet which will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to take your tablets.

Erythromycin Dose

The recommended daily dose to treat Rosacea and Acne as per NICE guidance.

Rosacea

500mg twice daily for 6 - 12 weeks

Acne

500mg twice daily

Common erythromycin side effects

Common side effects affect more than 1 in every 100 people, they are usually nothing to worry about and will typically subside after a few days once your body has got use to the treatment.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach cramps
  • Loss of appetite

Before using this medicine we recommend reading the patient information leaflet in order to familiarise yourself with all of the potential side effects you may face.

Erythromycin alternatives

There are a number of prescription alternatives to Erythromycin, all of which treat rosacea in different ways.

Other commonly prescribed rosacea treatments include:

  • Soolanta cream which helps to treat the redness and swelling caused by rosacea
  • Rozex gel which contains the powerful antibiotic Metronidazole, used to treat rosacea
  • Mirvaso gel which is specifically used in the treatment of facial erythema of rosacea.
  • Finacea gel which contains Azelaic Acid, highly effective at treating both acne and rosacea.

Erythromycin Dosage and Directions

How to take Erythromycin

Our pharmacists and prescriber follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Erythromycin.

Always take Erythromycin exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly and ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you are still not sure.

What if I take too much?

If you take more Erythromycin than you were supposed to, you are unlikely to come to any harm. However, you may be at risk of temporary side effects, such as hearing loss, vomiting, an upset stomach or diarrhoea.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you become worried or if you or your child has taken more than one extra dose.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, just skip the tablets you missed and continue to take the medication as normal.

Never take a double dose to try and make up for missing a previous one.

To ensure you do not forget to take Erythromycin, try to take it at the same times every day. Some people find it helps to set an alarm as a reminder.

Storage

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not store in conditions above 25C. Store the tablets in the original packet and keep it closed.

Do not keep using this medicine after the expiry date, which can be found on the packaging. The expiry date refers to the last day of the stated month.

What is Erythromycin used to treat?


It is prescribed for a range of conditions, including chest infections like pneumonia, skin problems such as acne and rosacea, oral abscesses, and sexually transmitted diseases. 

Is Erythromycin good for acne?


Erythromycin helps to kill the bacteria responsible for causing acne. Erythromycin limits the spread of the bacteria, eventually killing it and reducing the main signs and symptoms of acne.

How long does it take for Erythromycin to work for acne?


Erythromycin will noticeably improve the appearance of your acne within the first 6 weeks of starting your treatment.

Will Erythromycin make my acne worse at first?


Erythromycin can sometimes make you acne worse before it gets better, particularly within the first 2 weeks of your treatment.

Is Erythromycin good for Rosacea?


Yes, Erythromycin is primarily used to treat Rosacea, it helps to kill and stop the spread of the bacteria responsible for causing Rosacea. Although Erythromycin can be used to help the symptoms of rosacea, it will not stop rosacea triggers.

Is Erythromycin an antibiotic?


Yes, Erythromycin is an antibiotic, specifically belonging to the macrolide antibiotics family of drugs.

Will my Rosacea return if I stop taking Erythromycin?


There is more chance of your rosacea returning if you prematurely stop taking Erythromycin and do not successfully complete your course. You should always complete your treatment course unless advised otherwise by your doctor.

Does Erythromycin cure Rosacea?


No, Erythromycin will help to reduce the symptoms of Rosacea, however your rosacea triggers will still exist and can still trigger your rosacea. It is recommended adopting lifestyle changes to reduce coming into contact with your rosacea triggers.

Can I drink alcohol whilst taking Erythromycin?


Yes, there is no harmful interaction between Erythromycin and Alcohol.

Erythromycin side effects

Like all medicines, Erythromycin has certain side effects, although they will not affect everyone who takes it.

Contact your doctor straight away if you get any of the following:

  • Skin rashes
  • Fainting
  • Severe or prolonged diarrhoea that may contain mucous or blood
  • Ulcers in the mouth and/or throat
  • Liver or gallbladder problems
  • Fits

Serious Side Effects

Other side effects that come with Erythromycin can include:

  • Feeling or being sick
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Ringing of the ears
  • Eosinophilia
  • Hallucinations
  • Malaise
  • Blurred vision or visual impairment
  • Low blood pressure
  • Inflammation of the kidneys
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Reversible hearing loss
  • Vertigo
  • Stomach pains (may be inflamed pancreas)
  • Vomiting and irritability in children aged 1 to 12 months

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the above.

Severe allergic reaction

In rare cases, it is possible to have a severe allergic reaction to Erythromycin.

You should either go to A&E or call 999 straight away if you get any of the following symptoms:

  • You have swelling in your face, lips, tongue, throat or mouth
  • You are wheezing
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • You have swelling in your chest or throat
  • You develop a skin rash that may have red, itch, swollen, blistered or peeling skin

You may be having a severe allergic reaction and require immediate treatment in hospital.

These lists might not be exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for full details on side effects. Please speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about getting side effects from Erythromycin tablets.

Erythromycin Warnings and Drug Interactions

Before you take Erythromycin, it is important to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any other form of medication; this includes prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

For more information on medicines that interact with Erythromycin.

If you suffer from myasthenia gravis or any other health conditions, you should speak to your doctor before using Erythromycin.

If you suffer from blurred vision or any visual impairments, you should not drive, cycle or operate machinery until you feel better.

Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly for full details on warnings and precautions. If you have any questions or concerns, we strongly advise you to speak to your doctor.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Women should not use Erythromycin while pregnant unless it has been prescribed by a doctor.

Speak to your doctor before taking this medication if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are trying for a baby, or are breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant and have the sexually transmitted infection syphilis, Erythromycin may not be effective at preventing the transfer of this infection to your unborn child. Read more on taking Erythromycin during pregnacy and breastfeeding

Erythromycin Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Erythromycin

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Written byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 17/08/2021

This content has been written by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091

Pharmacist

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