Erythromycin Topical Preparations

Erythromycin gel/topical solution/lotion is used for the treatment of common acne (acne vulgaris). It belongs to a group of medications called anti-acne antibacterial agents. Erythromycin works by attacking bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, which plays an essential part in causing acne.

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​What is this medication used for

Erythromycin gel/topical solution/lotion is used for the treatment of common acne (acne vulgaris). It belongs to a group of medications called anti-acne antibacterial agents. Erythromycin works by attacking bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, which plays an essential part in causing acne.

 

Dosage and How to Use 

Adults and adolescents 12 years old and above

Erythromycin gel/topical solution/lotion should be applied to the affected area twice a day (morning and evening) by applying a thin film of the gel/topical solution/lotion onto the skin. Wash and dry the whole area to be treated before applying the gel/topical solution/lotion. If the skin is greasy, you may consider using a mild skin cleansing agent.

The amount of gel/topical solution/lotion you should use depends on the size of the affected area. Avoid using excessive amount of this product. Duration of use varies from person to person and depends on your acne condition when you start treatment. In general, you should see a distinct improvement after about 6-8 weeks of treatment. To get the best effect you may have to use this gel/topical solution/lotion for several weeks. However, you should not use this gel/topical solution/lotion for more than 12 weeks at any time without further medical advice.

Do not share the product with others even if they have similar signs and symptoms. Do not apply to either broken or eczematous skin. Wash your hands thoroughly after using the product and avoid getting the gel/topical solution/lotion into your eyes, mouth or nostrils. If it does come into contact with any of these areas, rinse it off immediately with plenty of water.

​If you forget or miss an application, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time for the next application, skip the missed application and continue with next dose at the usual time.

 

Side Effects, Precautions, Contraindication

Before you use this medication

This gel/topical solution/lotion should be avoided if you have a known history of allergy to Erythromycin, or any of the other listed ingredients in the product. It should also be avoided if you have a history of antibiotic-associated colitis or inflammatory bowel disease.

​Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without first consulting a doctor.

Inform your doctor and/or pharmacist if you are taking and/or using any other anti-acne therapy.

​Most preparations containing topical erythromycin contain alcohol. Avoid smoking or being near to an open flame during application and immediately after use.

 

Interactions with other medications

Be sure to inform your doctor and/or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or plan to take other medications, nutritional supplements or herbal products.

 

Side effects

Common side effects: burning, itching or abnormal redness of the skin at application site, scaling, pain, dryness and skin irritation at the application site.

Less common side effects: abdominal pain, diarrhoea or oily skin.

Rare side effects: antibiotic-associated colitis.

 

Handling and Storage

Keep out of reach and sight of children.
Store in a cool dry place below 30°C. 

 

When to seek further medical advice

Discontinue use of product and inform your doctor and/or pharmacist immediately if you experience any allergic symptoms (e.g. rashes, itchiness, difficulty in breathing or eye swelling) or serious side effects due to this medication.

Inform your doctor and/or pharmacist if you experience prolonged, severe or bloody diarrhea. This may be a sign of bowel inflammation (pseudomembranous colitis) which can occur following treatment with antibiotics

​Consult a doctor if you do not observe improvement in 6-8 weeks or if your condition worsens.

Just Ask! Your Pharmacist - Know Your Medicine, Get It Right! 

Information updated 31st March 2016
Prepared by the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore (www.pss.org.sg)​

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Erythromycin Topical Preparations

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