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Erythromycin Ethylsuccinate

Erythromycin is an antibiotic, and is a second line treatment for chlamydia. It can be taken as a standard tablet or an oral suspension solution.

This treatment is not available through our service. Please refer to our chlamydia page for more on the medicines offered.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

09 November 2020
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 09 November 2020
Product information

Erythromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which is adept at tackling a number of bacterial infections, including chlamydia. It was originally marketed as Ilosone by Lilly in the 1950s, and is available today as a generic tablet, and as an oral suspension solution known as Erythroped (supplied by Amdipharm).

Erythromycin is currently a second-line treatment for chlamydia. This means that a doctor may issue the drug if the first-line options (Doxycycline and Azithromycin) are not suitable for the patient.

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK, with around 200,000 diagnoses made on an annual basis. It is mostly spread through unprotected vaginal and anal sex, but it can be spread through oral sex too, and through the use of shared sex toys.

The symptoms associated with chlamydia infections in women include irregular discharge from the vagina, bleeding between periods and pain in the abdomen; whereas in men, penile discharge and pain in the testes may occur. Both men and women may experience discomfort when going to the toilet.

However, the majority of chlamydia infections cause no symptoms. Around half of all male cases and eighty percent of female cases will be asymptomatic, which means that many people with the infection may not realise they have it.

If it isn’t treated, chlamydia can cause serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Those who think they may have come into contact with the infection should get tested (and if necessary, treatment) as soon as possible.

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotic medicine. Erythromycin and Erythroped AMDIPHARM work by attacking the bacteria responsible for the infection, C. trachomatis. To sustain itself and grow, this bacteria needs to produce an essential protein. This protein allows the bacteria to multiply and increase its presence in the body. Erythromycin inhibits the development of this protein, thereby stifling the spread of the infection. Once it has been brought to a halt, the illness is then dealt with by the body’s natural defences.

Active ingredient

The integral agent in the standard tablet and in Erythroped Oral Suspension is erythromycin. This is a macrolide antibiotic which has been available under various names since the 1950s, when it was developed and first patented. It is applied to the treatment of numerous types of bacterial infection, including STIs such as chlamydia.

In treating chlamydia, the ingredient works by neutralising the bacteria’s capacity for growth. It does this by preventing the release of an enzyme, which the bacteria itself generates and feeds on to increase in number. After the medicine has rendered the bacteria unable to produce this enzyme, the bacteria is destroyed and this clears the infection.

Erythromycin tablets are a generic version of the medicine, whereas Erythroped is a branded oral suspension medicine made by Amdipharm.

Please note we do not sell this treatment through our site. Please refer to our chlamydia page for more on the treatments we do offer.

Page last reviewed:  09/11/2020


When you use any medicine, you should always follow the directions your doctor provides, and ensure you adhere to the guidelines set out in the patient information leaflet. This will help you to lower the risk of side effects, and maximise the efficiency of the medication.

Apply as directed by your prescriber.

Please note that Erythromycin is a second-line treatment option for chlamydia. A doctor will only issue the medication if the first-line options are contraindicated.

For chlamydia, the dose might be as follows:

Erythromycin tablets

  1. Two 250mg tablets (500mg), taken twice daily for 10-14 days.
  2. Swallow tablets whole with water.

Erythromycin Oral Suspension

  1. One 500mg dose (20ml, or four 5ml spoonfuls) twice daily for 10-14 days.

For both items, you should:

  1. Never exceed the dose prescribed for you by our doctor.
  2. Never compensate for a missed dose by increasing your following dose. If you forget a dose, simply carry on taking the medicine as normal.

These directions are only intended as a guide. Always follow the instructions provided by your prescriber.


Page last reviewed:  09/11/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Erythromycin 250mg

Erythromycin Oral suspension SF 125mg/5ml

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Not everyone will experience side effects when using this product. Despite this, it remains important to be aware of the adverse effects the medicine may cause, so that you can act accordingly in the event that they occur.

Erythromycin tablets

Frequency not known:

Nausea; vomiting; diarrhoea; loss of hearing; liver problems; hypersensitivity; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; kidney problems; abdominal discomfort; allergic reaction; cardiac arrhythmia; toxic epidermal necrolysis; chest pain; dizziness; or palpitations.

Erythroped AMDIPHARM Oral Suspension

Frequency not known:

Diarrhoea; feeling or being sick; stomach pains; tinnitus; fever; loss of appetite; allergic reaction; palpitations; liver of kidney problems; hallucinations; confusion; or decreased blood pressure.

This is not a complete list of the side effects associated with these medicines. For a more detailed account, consult the leaflet provided or ask your doctor. If you experience any side effects or anything at all unusual while taking the medicine, seek immediate medical attention.

Taking it with other medicines

It is crucial to let your doctor know if you are using any other medications, whether they are prescription, non-prescription or remedial, when undergoing consultation. Your prescriber may choose not to issue the medicine or only do so with special care in these cases.

Erythromycin and Erythroped may interact with or affect the following treatments: dronedarone; amisulpride; astemizole, eletriptan; ergotamine; cisapride; dihydroergotamine; ivabradine; lercanidipine; terfenadine; mizolastine; moxifloxacin; pimozide; saquinavir; sertindole; simvastatin; tolterodine; vinblastine; alfentanil; alprazolam; bromocriptine; buspirone; cabergoline; carbamazepine; ciclosporin; cilostazol; clozapine; colchicine; darifenacin; digoxin; disopyramide; eplerenone; everolimus; felodipine; galantamine; corticosteroids; midazolam; phenytoin; pravastatin; quetiapine; reboxetine; rifabutin; rupatadine; sildenafil; sirolimus; tacrolimus; tadalafil; theophylline; triazolam; valproate; vardenafil; verapamil; zopiclone; atorvastatin; lovastatin; simvastatin; cimetidine; HIV treatments such as ritonavir lopinavir, saquinavir and amprenavir; amiodarone; antimalarials; antipsychotics; disopyramide; quinidine; nicoumalone; and warfarin.

Conditions to look out for

Ensure your prescriber is aware of your medical history. They may choose not to issue this treatment to persons with a history of: liver or kidney problems; irregular heartbeat; antibiotic-induced diarrhoea; myasthenia gravis; or porphyria.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Check with your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby.

Driving and using machinery

Your capacity to drive or use machines is not likely to be affected by this treatment.

Fructose intolerance

Erythroped contains sorbitol. Let your prescriber know if you have an intolerance to any sugars.

Page last reviewed:  09/11/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Erythromycin 250mg

Erythromycin Oral suspension SF 125mg/5ml


Can I still drink alcohol?

Alcohol can influence the efficacy of certain antibiotics, therefore we would not recommend drinking alcohol when using either of these products.

Will I still be able to drive?

If you experience no significant side effects you should still be able to drive. However, the presence of any side effects which might hinder your judgment or reaction times may make driving dangerous, and in these cases, you should avoid driving and contact your nearest healthcare professional.

Can I take this medicine while pregnant?

If you think you have come into contact with a chlamydia infection and you are pregnant, you should speak to your GP in person as soon as possible.

How do I store it?

Below 25 degrees, and in a safe, secure environment, out of the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Erythromycin tablets are made up of the following ingredients: erythromycin, maize starch, croscarmellose sodium type A, povidone, talc, magnesium stearate (E572), hypromellose (E464), macrogol 6000, erythrosine (E127), methacrylic acid ethylacrylate copolymer (1:1) and polysorbate 80 (E433).

Erythroped Oral Suspension contains: erythromycin ethylsuccinate, sodium citrate, saccharin sodium, poloxamer, xanthan gum, sodium methylhydroxybenzoate, collodial silica, imitation banana no. 2 flavour, imitation cream flavour, purified water, sorbitol and acesulfame.

Do not use these products if you are allergic to any containing ingredients.

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. You can only buy Erythromycin or Erythroped AMDIPHARM if you have a prescription.

Page last reviewed:  09/11/2020 is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 3256 customers on TrustPilot!
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