Erythromycin

General Description: Erythromycin is an oral macrolide antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections in dogs and cats (ex. soft tissue infections). Erythromycin may be prescribed for other reasons. Give with food to decrease stomach upset. Erythromycin is available in different strengths as an oral suspension, as capsules or coated tablets. Topical and ophthalmic preparations are also available.

What is this drug?

Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic
Erythromycin is given by mouth (eye and topical products are available as well)
Reasons for prescribing:

Useful to treat a variety of bacterial infections in dogs and cats
Used as a prokinetic agent: low doses are given to relieve nausea, stimulate movement of the stomach and intestines, treat reflux esophagitis
Because it prevents certain liver enzymes to break down some drugs, it can be used to increase blood levels and lower the dose of an expensive drug called cyclosporine (given at same time)
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?

Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to erythromycin or other antibiotics
Pets with liver disease
Pregnant animals
Directions:

For liquids, shake well before accurately measuring the dose.

Give this medication with food to decrease likelihood of stomach upset.

Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. This medication is usually given two or three times daily. If three times a day is inconvenient and you predict doses may be missed, another antibiotic with a less frequent administration schedule could be substituted.

Read and follow the label carefully.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Missed doses reduce the effectiveness of therapy.

Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Finish the entire course of treatment. Call ahead for refills.

Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.

What if dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:

If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Store capsules and tablets in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

To retain palatability, the oral suspension should be refrigerated (although most suspension brands are stable at room temperature for 14 days).

Drug is toxic to guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits and gerbils . Not safe for use in cattle or adult horses.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Pet owners allergic to erythromycin and/or other antibiotics should avoid handling this drug.

Potential side effects:

Decrease in appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
When used as a prokinetic agent, it may increase intestinal distress as larger food particles than normal may empty into intestine
It is important to stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has a medical problem or side effect from this product’s therapy
Can this drug be given with other drugs?

Yes, but possible interactions may occur with azithromycin, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, digoxin, lincomycin, methylprednisolone, rifampin, sulfa class antibiotics, theophylline, tylosin and warfarin.
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Overdosing?

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, erythromycin should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

This is just a summary of information about erythromycin. If you have any questions or concerns about erythromycin or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.

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