Erythromycin is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as infections of the respiratory tract, including bronchitis, pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease (a type of lung infection), and pertussis (whooping cough; a serious infection that can cause severe coughing); diphtheria (a serious infection in the throat); sexually transmitted diseases (STD), including syphilis; and ear, intestine, gynecological, urinary tract, and skin infections. It also is used to prevent recurrent rheumatic fever. Erythromycin is in a class of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Antibiotics such as erythromycin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
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