Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Before applying this medicine, thoroughly wash the affected area with warm water and soap, rinse well, and pat dry. After washing or shaving, it is best to wait 30 minutes before applying the pledget (swab), topical gel, or topical liquid form. The alcohol in them may irritate freshly washed or shaved skin.

For patients using the pledget (swab), topical gel, or topical liquid form of erythromycin:

  • These forms contain alcohol and are flammable. Do not use near heat, near open flame, or while smoking.
  • It is important that you do not use this medicine more often than your doctor ordered. It may cause your skin to become too dry or irritated.
  • Also, you should avoid washing the acne-affected areas too often. This may dry your skin and make your acne worse. Washing with a mild, bland soap 2 or 3 times a day should be enough, unless you have oily skin. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
  • To use:
    • The topical liquid form of this medicine may come in a bottle with an applicator tip, which may be used to apply the medicine directly to the skin. Use the applicator with a dabbing motion instead of a rolling motion (not like a roll-on deodorant, for example). If the medicine does not come in an applicator bottle, you may moisten a pad with the medicine and then rub the pad over the whole affected area. Or you may also apply this medicine with your fingertips. Be sure to wash the medicine off your hands afterward.
    • Apply a thin film of medicine, using enough to cover the affected area lightly. You should apply the medicine to the whole area usually affected by acne, not just to the pimples themselves. This will help keep new pimples from breaking out.
    • The pledget (swab) form should be rubbed over the whole affected area. You may use extra pledgets (swabs), if needed, to cover larger areas.
    • Since these medicines contain alcohol, they may sting or burn. Therefore, do not get these medicines in the eyes, nose, mouth, or on other mucous membranes. Spread the medicine away from these areas when applying. If these medicines do get in the eyes, wash them out immediately, but carefully, with large amounts of cool tap water. If your eyes still burn or are painful, check with your doctor.

This medicine will not cure your acne. However, to help keep your acne under control, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. You may have to continue using this medicine every day for months or even longer in some cases. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. It is important that you do not miss any doses.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For acne:
    • For gel dosage form:
      • Adults—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin two times a day, morning and evening.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For ointment dosage form:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin two times a day, morning and evening.
    • For pledgets dosage form:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin two times a day.
    • For topical solution dosage form:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children 12 years of age and over—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin two times a day, morning and evening.
      • Children up to 12 years of age—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.