How does erythromycin work?

Erythromycin works by killing the bacteria that cause whooping cough, pneumonia and other infections.

Erythromycin prevents the bacterial cell from carrying out essential functions that are necessary for life (i.e. making the protein building blocks that make up the bacterial cell), which stops the bacteria from multiplying.

Find out more about which infections erythromycin is used for, who can take it, and the side effects and interactions of erythromycin.

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  • Antibiotic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic version 14; Erythromycin. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2012 (accessed 27 March 2012).