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Erythromycin and Pregnancy

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  • Erythromycin and Pregnancy

    I have been diagnosed with gastroparesis and my rheumatologist put me on erythromycin. Prior to getting pregnant, this did offer some benefit, but I haven't been using since I got pregnant. Is this okay to use?

  • #2

    Erythromycin is rated a P2-benefits likely to exceed the risk.
    "The use erythromycin therapy during pregnancy has not been associated with an increase in the risk of birth defects. [1] Erythromycin estolate can potentially cause maternal hepatotoxicity and should be avoided.[1] This drug has been shown to cross the placenta, though in extremely low amounts.[2] There is also no data linking the development of infant hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) to the use of erythromycin during pregnancy. However, use during pregnancy does not eliminate the risk of IHPS when erythromycin is administered to an infant alone or via breastmilk.[3,4] There is no evidence of teratogenicity or any other adverse effect on reproduction in female rats fed erythromycin base (up to 0.25 percent of diet) prior to and during mating, during gestation, and through weaning of two successive litters. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed." (Medications and Mothers' Milk database, Dr Thomas Hale PhD).

    1.##The REPROTOX? System. Georgetown University Medical Center and Reproductive Toxicology Center, Columbia Hospital for Women Medical Center, Washington, D.C. (electronic version). Thomson Reuters, Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA. Available at: [url][/url] (May/25/2010).
    2.##Product Information: PCE(R) Dispertab(R) oral tablets, erythromycin particles oral tablets. Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, IL, 2008.
    3.##Mahon BE, Rosenman MB, & Kleiman MB: Maternal and infant use of erythromycin and other macrolide antibiotics as risk factors for infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. J Pediatr 2001; 139(3):380-384.
    4.##Louik C, Werler MM, & Mitchell AA: Erythromycin use during pregnancy in relation to pyloric stenosis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002; 186(2):288-290.

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center