US Brand Names
Canadian Brand Names
Erythromycin (eh-rith-roe-MYE-sin) belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Erythromycin ophthalmic preparations are used to treat infections of the eye. They also may be used to prevent certain eye infections of newborn babies, such as neonatal conjunctivitis and ophthalmia neonatorum. They may be used with other medicines for some eye infections.
Erythromycin is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ophthalmic erythromycin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this or any of the other erythromycins. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.
Ophthalmic erythromycin has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.
Ophthalmic erythromycin has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in children with use in other age groups.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in the elderly with use in other age groups.
• First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Squeeze a thin strip of ointment into this space. A 1-cm (approximately 1/3-inch) strip of ointment is usually enough, unless you have been told by your doctor to use a different amount. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to come into contact with the infection.
• To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). After using erythromycin eye ointment, wipe the tip of the ointment tube with a clean tissue and keep the tube tightly closed.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment , even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. Do not miss any doses .
The dose of ophthalmic erythromycin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of ophthalmic erythromycin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
• For ophthalmic ointment dosage form:
o For treatment of eye infections:
o For prevention of neonatal conjunctivitis and ophthalmia neonatorum:
If you do miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
To store this medicine:
• Keep out of the reach of children.
• Store away from heat and direct light.
• Keep the medicine from freezing.
• Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
After application, eye ointments usually cause your vision to blur for a few minutes.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if the following side effect occurs:
Eye irritation not present before therapy.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
November 28, 1994