More Info on Erythromycin's Indications

How Does Erythromycin Work?

Erythromycin belongs to a group of medications known as macrolides. It works by inhibiting part of bacterial ribosomes, which are parts of cells that make proteins. By inhibiting the ribosomes, erythromycin interferes with the ability of bacteria to make proteins, which is necessary for the bacteria to grow and multiply.
 
This drug specifically inhibits the 50S subunit of the ribosome. Since human cells do not have a 50S subunit, they are spared from the effects of the antibiotic.
 

Can Children Use Erythromycin?

Erythromycin eye ointment (as well as the oral and injectable forms) is approved for use in children. In general, erythromycin products applied to the skin to treat acne are not approved for children under the age of 12.
 
This medicine comes in an oral suspension (liquid) form that is ideal for young children who cannot swallow tablets or capsules, or who are too small to take the usual adult dosage.
 

Is Erythromycin Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this drug for something other than the conditions discussed in this article (this would be known as an "off-label" use).
 
Interestingly, erythromycin is sometimes used off-label to treat diabetic gastroparesis (a condition common in people with diabetes that causes slow or delayed movement of food through the stomach). It is so likely to cause digestive side effects that these predictable reactions are used to help food move through the stomach more quickly.
 
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