Dirithromycin (By mouth)


Dirithromycin (dye-rith-roe-MYE-sin)

Treats infections caused by certain kinds of bacteria. Belongs to a class of drugs called antibiotics. This medicine was withdrawn from the U.S. market.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to dirithromycin or to similar medicines such as Zithromax®, Biaxin®, or erythromycin (EES®, E-Mycin®, ERYC®, and PCE® are some brand names of erythromycin).

How to Use This Medicine

Coated Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and how often to take it.
  • Take the tablets with food or within one hour after a meal.
  • Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets. Swallow them whole. These tablets have a special layer or coating on their outside that should not be broken.
  • Take the medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to, even if you feel better. If you stop taking the medicine too soon, your infection may come back.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible unless it is almost time for your next dose.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose, and take your medicine at your usual times.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the tablets at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some patients have had serious heart problems when taking Seldane® or Hismanal® with erythromycin (a medicine that is similar to dirithromycin). It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking Seldane® or Hismanal® before you take dirithromycin.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking theophylline, Halcion®, digoxin (Lanoxin®), blood thinners such as Coumadin®, or seizure medicines such as Dilantin®, Tegretol®, or Depakote®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you develop a skin rash or itching while taking this medicine.
  • Before you take this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease or heart disease (including heart failure and irregular heartbeat).
  • If this medicine gives you diarrhea, talk to your doctor before taking medicine to treat the diarrhea.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Skin rash, hives or itching.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of the face, throat, or lips.
  • Severe or bloody diarrhea.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Upset stomach or vomiting.
  • Headache.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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