Erythromycin

ERYTHROMYCIN- erythromycin tablet, film coated
Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of erythromycin tablets and other antibacterial drugs, erythromycin tablets should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.

DESCRIPTION

Erythromycin tablets, USP are an antibacterial product containing erythromycin, USP, in a unique, nonenteric film coating for oral administration. Erythromycin tablets are available in two strengths containing either 250 mg or 500 mg of erythromycin base.

Erythromycin is produced by a strain of Saccharopolyspora erythraea (formerly Streptomyces erythraeus) and belongs to the macrolide group of antibiotics. It is basic and readily forms salts with acids. Erythromycin, USP is a white to off-white powder, slightly soluble in water, and soluble in alcohol, chloroform, and ether. Erythromycin is known chemically as (3R*, 4S*, 5S*, 6R*, 7R*, 9R*, 11R*, 12R*, 13S*, 14R*)-4-[(2,6-dideoxy-3-C-methyl-3-O-methyl-α-L-ribo -hexopyranosyl) oxy]-14-ethyl-7,12,13-trihydroxy-3,5,7,9,11,13-hexamethyl-6-[[3,4,6-trideoxy-3-(dimethylamino)-β-D-xylo -hexopyranosyl] oxy]oxacyclotetradecane-2,10-dione. The molecular formula is C37 H67 NO13 , and the molecular weight is 733.94. The structural formula is:

structure
(click image for full-size original)

Inactive Ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, crospovidone, D&C red #30/helendon pink aluminum lake, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, hypromellose phthalate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, propylene glycol, silicon dioxide, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide, sorbitan monooleate, talc and titanium dioxide.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Orally administered erythromycin base and its salts are readily absorbed in the microbiologically active form. Inter individual variations in the absorption of erythromycin are, however, observed, and some patients do not achieve optimal serum levels. Erythromycin is largely bound to plasma proteins. After absorption, erythromycin diffuses readily into most body fluids. In the absence of meningeal inflammation, low concentrations are normally achieved in the spinal fluid but the passage of the drug across the blood-brain barrier increases in meningitis. Erythromycin crosses the placental barrier, but fetal plasma levels are low. The drug is excreted in human milk. Erythromycin is not removed by peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.

In the presence of normal hepatic function, erythromycin is concentrated in the liver and is excreted in the bile; the effect of hepatic dysfunction on biliary excretion of erythromycin is not known. After oral administration, less than 5% of the administered dose can be recovered in the active form in the urine.

Optimal blood levels are obtained when erythromycin tablets are given in the fasting state (at least 1/2 hour and preferably 2 hours before meals). Bioavailability data are available from Arbor Pharmaceuticals.

Microbiology

Mechanism of Action

Erythromycin acts by inhibition of protein synthesis by binding 50S ribosomal subunits of susceptible organisms. It does not affect nucleic acid synthesis.

Mechanism of Resistance

The major route of resistance is modification of the 23S rNA in the 50S ribosomal subunit to insensitivity while efflux can also be significant.

Interactions with Other Antibiotics

Antagonism exists in vitro between erythromycin and clindamycin, lincomycin, and chloramphenicol.

Erythromycin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following bacteria both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.

Gram-positive Bacteria:

Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Corynebacterium minutissimum

Listeria monocytogenes

Staphylococcus aureus (resistant organisms may emerge during treatment)

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes

Gram-negative Bacteria:

Bordetella pertussis

Haemophilus influenzae

Legionella pneumophila

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Other Microorganisms:

Chlamydia trachomatis

Entamoeba histolytica

Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Treponema pallidum

Ureaplasma urealyticum

The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown.

At least 90% of the following bacteria exhibit in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for erythromycin. However, the efficacy of erythromycin in treating clinical infections due to these bacteria has not been established in adequate and well controlled clinical trials.

Gram-positive Bacteria:

Viridans group streptococci

Gram-negative Bacteria:

Moraxella catarrhalis

Susceptibility Test Methods

For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see: https://www.fda.gov/STIC.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of erythromycin tablets and other antibacterial drugs, erythromycin tablets 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 the diseases listed below:

Upper respiratory tract infections of mild to moderate degree caused by Streptococcus pyogenes ; Streptococcus pneumoniae ; Haemophilus influenzae (when used concomitantly with adequate doses of sulfonamides, since many strains of H. influenzae are not susceptible to the erythromycin concentrations ordinarily achieved) (see appropriate sulfonamide labeling for prescribing information).

Lower respiratory tract infections of mild to moderate severity caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes.

Respiratory tract infections due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Skin and skin structure infections of mild to moderate severity caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus (resistant staphylococci may emerge during treatment).

Pertussis (whooping cough) caused by Bordetella pertussis.

Erythromycin is effective in eliminating the organism from the nasopharynx of infected individuals, rendering them noninfectious. Some clinical studies suggest that erythromycin may be helpful in the prophylaxis of pertussis in exposed susceptible individuals.

Diphtheria: Infections due to Corynebacterium diphtheriae , as an adjunct to antitoxin, to prevent establishment of carriers and to eradicate the organism in carriers.

Erythrasma: In the treatment of infections due to Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Intestinal amebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica (oral erythromycins only). Extraenteric amebiasis requires treatment with other agents.

Acute pelvic inflammatory disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Erythrocin® Lactobionate-I.V. (erythromycin lactobionate for injection, USP) followed by erythromycin base orally, as an alternative drug in treatment of acute pelvic inflammatory disease caused by N. gonorrhoeae in female patients with a history of sensitivity to penicillin. Patients should have a serologic test for syphilis before receiving erythromycin as treatment of gonorrhea and a follow-up serologic test for syphilis after 3 months.

Erythromycins tablets are indicated for treatment of the following infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis: conjunctivitis of the newborn, pneumonia of infancy, and urogenital infections during pregnancy. When tetracyclines are contraindicated or not tolerated, erythromycin tablets are indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated urethral, endocervical, or rectal infections in adults due to Chlamydia trachomatis.

When tetracyclines are contraindicated or not tolerated, erythromycin tablets are indicated for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum.

Primary syphilis caused by Treponema pallidum. Erythromycin (oral forms only) is an alternative choice of treatment for primary syphilis in patients allergic to the penicillins. In treatment of primary syphilis, spinal fluid should be examined before treatment and as part of the follow-up after therapy.

Legionnaires’ Disease caused by Legionella pneumophila. Although no controlled clinical efficacy studies have been conducted, in vitro and limited preliminary clinical data suggest that erythromycin may be effective in treating Legionnaires’ Disease.

Prophylaxis

Prevention of Initial Attacks of Rheumatic Fever

Penicillin is considered by the American Heart Association to be the drug of choice in the prevention of initial attacks of rheumatic fever (treatment of Streptococcus pyogenes infections of the upper respiratory tract e.g., tonsillitis, or pharyngitis).1 Erythromycin tablets are indicated for the treatment of penicillin-allergic patients. The therapeutic dose should be administered for ten days.

Prevention of Recurrent Attacks of Rheumatic Fever

Penicillin or sulfonamides are considered by the American Heart Association to be the drugs of choice in the prevention of recurrent attacks of rheumatic fever. In patients who are allergic to penicillin and sulfonamides, oral erythromycin is recommended by the American Heart Association in the long-term prophylaxis of streptococcal pharyngitis (for the prevention of recurrent attacks of rheumatic fever).1

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