Discharge Instructions: Taking Antibiotics—Macrolides

Your doctor prescribed a macrolide antibiotic for you. Macrolide antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections in many parts of the body. These antibiotics can also be used to treat some diseases. 

The name of your antibiotic is  ____________________________________________.

Guidelines for Use

  • Follow the fact sheet that came with your medication. It tells you when and how to take your medication. Ask for a sheet if you didn’t get one.

  • Don’t share this medication with anyone.

  • Tell your doctor if you:

    • Are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications

    • Have other health problems

    • Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant

    • Have any allergies.

  • Take your medication exactly as directed.

  • Don’t stop taking your medication until it is all gone—even if you feel better. If you don’t take it all, your symptoms may return and may be harder to treat.

  • Take your doses at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night. This keeps an even amount of medication in your blood.

  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember—unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the dose you missed. Don’t take a double dose.

  • Take your medication with a full glass of water.

  • Don’t take this medication with juice or soft drinks.

  • Talk to your pharmacist about how to take this medication. This medication is available in capsule, chewable tablet, or liquid form. Depending on which form you are taking, use the following instructions:

    • If you are taking the long-acting form of this drug (a capsule), swallow it whole. Don’t crush, chew, or break it open.

    • Chew or crush the chewable form of this drug before you swallow it.

    • Shake the liquid form of this drug well. Measure the exact dose with the dropper on the top of the bottle or with a measuring spoon. Then take it by mouth.

Possible Side Effects

Tell your doctor if you have any of these side effects. Don’t stop taking the medication until your doctor tells you to. Mild side effects include:

  • Mild stomach cramps or pain

  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting

  • Headache

  • A strange taste in your mouth

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Severe stomach pain, cramps, or tenderness in your abdomen

  • Severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting

  • Skin rash, redness, or itching

  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

  • Yellow eyes or skin