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Erythromycin (Ophthalmic)

Generic name: erythromycin ophthalmic

Brand names: Ilotycin, Roymicin, Eyemycin

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Ointment, Ophthalmic:

Generic: 5 mg/g (1 g, 3.5 g)


Mechanism of Action

Inhibits RNA-dependent protein synthesis at the chain elongation step; binds to the 50S ribosomal subunit resulting in blockage of transpeptidation

Use: Labeled Indications

Ocular infections (superficial): Treatment of superficial ocular infections involving the conjunctiva or cornea caused by organisms susceptible to erythromycin ophthalmic ointment

Ophthalmia neonatorum: Prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum due to N. gonorrhoeae or C. trachomatis


Hypersensitivity to erythromycin or any component of the formulation

Dosage and Administration

Dosing: Adult

Ocular infections, superficial: Ophthalmic: Instill ~1 cm ribbon into affected eye(s) up to 6 times daily, depending on the severity of the infection

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Ocular infections, superficial: Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Ophthalmic: Instill 1 cm ribbon into affected eye(s) up to 6 times daily depending on the severity of the infection


Avoid contact of tip of ophthalmic ointment tube with affected eye.


Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); protect from freezing and excessive heat.

Drug Interactions

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Erythromycin (Ophthalmic) may increase the serum concentration of Vitamin K Antagonists. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Ocular: Hypersensitivity, minor ocular irritation, redness


Dosage form specific issues:

  • For ophthalmic use only. Avoid contamination. Do not touch tip of applicator or let tip of applicator touch eye.


Pregnancy Risk Factor


Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse events were not observed in animal reproduction studies. The amount of erythromycin available systemically following ophthalmic application is not known. However, erythromycin ophthalmic is considered acceptable for use in pregnant women (Robert 2001).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat or prevent eye infections.

Frequently reported side effects of this drug

  • Eye redness

Other side effects of this drug: Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of:

  • Vision changes
  • Eye pain
  • Severe eye irritation
  • Signs of a significant reaction like wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated January 7, 2020.