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Indications and usage:
To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of erythromycin and other antibacterial drugs, erythromycin should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy. Erythromycin tablets are indicated in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible strains of the designated microorganisms in various infective diseases.
Dosage and administration:
In most patients, erythromycin tablets are well absorbed and may be dosed orally without regard to meals. However, optimal blood levels are obtained when either Erythromycin 250 mg or Erythromycin 500 mg tablets are given in the fasting state (at least 1/2 hour and preferably 2 hours before meals).
The usual dosage of erythromycin is one 250 mg tablet every 8 hours or one 500 mg tablet every 12 hours. Dosage may be increased up to 4 g per day according to the severity of the infection. However, twice-a-day dosing is not recommended when doses larger than 1 g daily are administered.
Age, weight, and severity of the infection are important factors in determining the proper dosage. The usual dosage is 30 to 50 mg/kg/day, in equally divided doses. For more severe infections this dosage may be doubled but should not exceed 4 g per day.
In the treatment of streptococcal infections of the upper respiratory tract (e.g., tonsillitis or pharyngitis), the therapeutic dosage of erythromycin should be administered for at least ten days.
The American Heart Association suggests a dosage of 250 mg of erythromycin orally, twice a day in long-term prophylaxis of streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections for the prevention of recurring attacks of rheumatic fever in patients allergic to penicillin and sulfonamides.
Conjunctivitis of the newborn caused by Chlamydia trachomatis
Oral erythromycin suspension 50 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses for at least 2 weeks.
Pneumonia of infancy caused by Chlamydia trachomatis
Although the optimal duration of therapy has not been established, the recommended therapy is oral erythromycin suspension 50 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses for at least 3 weeks. Urogenital Infections During Pregnancy Due to Chlamydia trachomatis Although the optimal dose and duration of therapy have not been established, the suggested treatment is 500 mg of erythromycin by mouth four times a day or two erythromycin 250 mg or 333 mg tablets orally every 8 hours on an empty stomach for at least 7 days. For women who cannot tolerate this regimen, a decreased dose of one erythromycin 500 mg tablet orally every 12 hours, one 333 mg tablet orally every 8 hours or 250 mg by mouth four times a day should be used for at least 14 days.
For adults with uncomplicated urethral, endocervical, or rectal infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, when tetracycline is contraindicated or not tolerated 500 mg of erythromycin by mouth four times a day or two 333 mg tablets orally every 8 hours for at least 7 days.
For patients with nongonococcal urethritis caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum when tetracycline is contraindicated or not tolerated 500 mg of erythromycin by mouth four times a day or two 333 mg tablets orally every 8 hours for at least seven days.
30 to 40 g given in divided doses over a period of 10 to 15 days.
Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Caused by N. gonorrhoeae
500 mg Erythrocin Lactobionate-I.V. (erythromycin lactobionate for injection, USP) every 6 hours for 3 days, followed by 500 mg of erythromycin base orally every 12 hours, or 333 mg of erythromycin base orally every 8 hours for 7 days.
500 mg every 12 hours, 333 mg every 8 hours or 250 mg every 6 hours for 10 to 14 days.
30 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses for 10 to 14 days.
Although optimal dosage and duration have not been established, doses of erythromycin utilized in reported clinical studies were 40 to 50 mg/kg/day, given in divided doses for 5 to 14 days.
Although optimal dosage has not been established, doses utilized in reported clinical data were 1 to 4 g daily in divided doses.
Dosage forms and strengths:
Erythrocin (Erythromycin) tablets or capsules: 250 mg, 333 mg, 500 mg.
In case of overdosage, erythromycin should be discontinued. Overdosage should be handled with the prompt elimination of unabsorbed drug and all other appropriate measures should be instituted. Erythromycin is not removed by peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.
Erythromycin is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to this antibiotic. This medication is also contraindicated in patients taking terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, pimozide, ergotamine or dihydroergotamine.
Warnings and precautions:
Side effects, adverse reactions:
The most frequent side effects of oral erythromycin preparations are gastrointestinal and are dose-related. They include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and anorexia. Symptoms of hepatitis, hepatic dysfunction and/or abnormal liver function test results may occur.
Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibacterial treatment.
Erythromycin has been associated with QT prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias, including ventricular tachycardia and torsades de pointes.
Allergic reactions ranging from urticaria to anaphylaxis have occurred. Skin reactions ranging from mild eruptions to erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported rarely.
There have been reports of interstitial nephritis coincident with erythromycin use.
There have been rare reports of pancreatitis and convulsions.
There have been isolated reports of reversible hearing loss occurring chiefly in patients with renal insufficiency and in patients receiving high doses of erythromycin.
Serious adverse reactions have been reported in patients taking erythromycin concomitantly with CYP3A4 substrates. These include colchicine toxicity with colchicine; rhabdomyolysis with simvastatin, lovastatin, and atorvastatin; and hypotension with calcium channel blockers metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine, diltiazem).
There have been post-marketing reports of colchicine toxicity with concomitant use of erythromycin and colchicine. This interaction is potentially life-threatening, and may occur while using both drugs at their recommended doses.
Rhabdomyolysis with or without renal impairment has been reported in seriously ill patients receiving erythromycin concomitantly with lovastatin. Therefore, patients receiving concomitant lovastatin and erythromycin should be carefully monitored for creatine kinase (CK) and serum transaminase levels.
Information for patients:
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including erythromycin should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When erythromycin is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by PCE or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
Where to buy erythromycin online:
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