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What is Erythromycin Eye Ointment?

Erythromycin Eye Ointment is used to treat bacterial infections of the eye. This medication is also used to prevent bacterial eye infections in newborn babies. Erythromycin is in a class of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria that cause infections.

Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use Erythromycin eye ointment exactly as directed.
To apply Erythromycin eye ointment, 

  • Wash your hands first to avoid contamination.
  • Be careful not to touch the tip of the tube or let it touch your eye, eyelid, or any other surface.
  • Apply to the eyes only.
  • Tilt your head back, look up, and gently pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Place a half-inch strip of ointment into the pouch as directed by your doctor. Close the eye and roll the eyeball in all directions to spread the medication. Try not to blink, and do not rub the eye.
  • Repeat these steps for your other eye if so directed. Wipe the tip of the ointment tube with a clean tissue to remove extra medication before recapping it. 
  • If you use another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye.

Before Taking Erythromycin Eye Ointment

General: The use of antimicrobial agents may be associated with the overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi; in such a case, antibiotic administration should be stopped, and appropriate measures should be taken.

Information for Patients: Avoid contaminating the applicator tip with material from the eye, fingers, or other sources.

Pregnancy: erythromycin should be used during pregnancy only if needed.

Nursing Mothers: Caution should be exercised when erythromycin is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use -erythromycin is usually applied once in the hospital soon after delivery to prevent eye infections in newborn babies. 

Geriatric Use: No overall differences in safety or effectiveness have been observed between elderly and younger patients.

Erythromycin Eye Ointment Side Effects

Common side effects Erythromycin eye ointment of eye stinging/burning/redness or temporary blurred vision may occur. Stop using this medication and contact your doctor if you notice new or worsening eye symptoms (such as pain, swelling, thick discharge or pus). Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if these effects last or worsen. Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in other types of eye infections, including fungal infections.

FAQs

How long should you use the Erythromycin eye ointment?

Use Erythromycin eye ointment regularly to get the most benefit from it. Continue using it for the full-time prescribed. Stopping the medication too soon may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.

Is it safe to drive while on Erythromycin eye ointment?

After you apply Erythromycin eye ointment, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Please only drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision once you can safely perform such activities.

Can you apply Erythromycin eye ointment while on contacts?

Sterilize contact lenses according to the manufacturer's directions, and check with your doctor before using them again. Do not wear contact lenses while you are using Erythromycin.

What side effects can Erythromycin eye ointment cause?

Eye stinging/burning/redness or temporary blurred vision may occur. 

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