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What is Erythromycin Eye Ointment?

Erythromycin Ointment is an antibiotic used to treat superficial ocular (eye) infections and to prevent neonatal gonococcal or chlamydial conjunctivitis. 

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the Erythromycin eye ointment exactly as directed.

To apply the Erythromycin eye ointment:

  • Wash your hands before using eye medication.
  • Tilt your head slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the ointment tube with the tip pointing toward this pocket. Look up and away from the tip.
  • Squeeze a ribbon of ointment into the lower eyelid pocket without touching the tip of the tube to your eye. Blink your eye gently, then keep it closed for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Use a tissue to wipe excess ointment from your eyelashes.
  • After opening your eyes, you may have blurred vision for a short time. Avoid driving or doing anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.
  • Please do not touch the tip of the ointment tube or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated tube tip can infect your eye, leading to serious vision problems.
  • Use this medicine for the full prescribed length, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication.

Before Taking Erythromycin Eye Ointment

Before using Erythromycin eye ointment, tell your doctor and pharmacist:

  • If you are allergic to erythromycin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in erythromycin eye ointment. 
  • Other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you plan to take. Be sure to mention any other eye medications.
  • If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You should know that your vision may be blurry for a short time after using the eye ointment.
  • Wait until you can see before you drive or do other activities requiring good vision.
  • You wear soft contact lenses. You should not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection.

Erythromycin Eye Ointment Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Erythromycin eye ointment may cause serious side effects. Stop using erythromycin ophthalmic and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Severe burning, stinging, or irritation after using this medicine; or
  • Signs of eye infection--pain, swelling, severe discomfort, crusting or drainage, eyes more sensitive to light.

Common side effects of erythromycin eye ointment may include:

  • Eye redness; or
  • Mild eye irritation.

These are not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.


How should you store Erythromycin Eye Ointment?

Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C), away from light and moisture. Do not expose Erythromycin eye ointment to high heat. Do not freeze. Do not store it in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

How to apply the Erythromycin Eye Ointment?

In treating superficial ocular infections, a dose of a ribbon approximately 1 cm in length of Erythromycin Eye Ointment should be applied directly to the infected structure up to 6 times daily, depending on the severity of the infection. 

What are the side effects of Erythromycin Eye Ointment?

  • Eye stinging,
  • Burning,
  • Redness or,
  • Temporary blurred vision may occur. 

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