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Erythromycin and Sulfisoxazole

pronounced as(er ith roe mye' sin) (sul fi sox' a zole)

Why is this medication prescribed?

The combination of erythromycin and sulfisoxazole (a sulfa drug) is used to treat certain ear infections caused by bacteria. It usually is used in children.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole comes as a liquid to take by mouth. It usually is taken every 6 hours (four times a day) for 10 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take erythromycin and sulfisoxazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.

Drink a full glass of water after each dose.

Continue to take erythromycin and sulfisoxazole even if you feel well. Do not stop taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole without talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

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Before taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to erythromycin and sulfisoxazole, azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), medication for diabetes, diuretics ('water pills'), or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other antibiotics, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), astemizole (Hismanal), carbamazepine (Tegretol), clozapine (clozaril), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), ergotamine, felodipine (Plendil), lovastatin (Mevacor), oral contraceptives, phenytoin (Dilantin), terfenadine (Seldane), theophylline (Theo-Dur), triazolam (Halcion), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease, allergies, anemia, asthma, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency, yellowing of the skin or eyes, colitis, or stomach problems.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking erythromycin and sulfisoxazole.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

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Do not take this medication with, or just after, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, or tea. It can be taken with or between meals.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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Erythromycin and sulfisoxazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach

  • diarrhea

  • vomiting

  • stomach cramps

  • mild skin rash

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • severe skin rash

  • itching

  • hives

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

  • wheezing

  • stomach pain

  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

  • dark urine

  • pale stools

  • unusual tiredness

  • sore throat

  • fever

  • joint pain

  • blood in urine

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • dark, tarry stools

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

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Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Keep it in the refrigerator, and throw away any unused medication after 14 days. Do not freeze. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

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In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

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Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to erythromycin and sulfisoxazole.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the erythromycin and sulfisoxazole, call your doctor.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names of combination products

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  • Eryzole® (containing Erythromycin, Sulfisoxazole)
  • Ilosone® (containing Erythromycin, Sulfisoxazole)
  • Pediazole® (containing Erythromycin, Sulfisoxazole)

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

Last Revised - 08/01/2010

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AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.