A / t / s

Name: A / T / S

What is A/T/S (erythromycin topical)?

Erythromycin topical is an antibiotic that fights skin infection caused by bacteria.

Erythromycin topical (for the skin) is used to treat bacterial infections such as severe acne.

Erythromycin topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about A/T/S (erythromycin topical)?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Wash your hands before and after using this medicine.

Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with erythromycin topical unless your doctor tells you to.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, rinse with water.

It may take up to 12 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking erythromycin topical and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

A/T/S (erythromycin topical) side effects

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

Stop using erythromycin topical and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe burning, stinging, or redness;

  • oozing or other signs of skin infection;

  • worsening of your skin condition; or

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild skin irritation or tenderness;

  • dry or oily skin;

  • itching;

  • peeling; or

  • mild eye irritation.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How to use

This medication is for use on the skin only. Clean and dry the affected area as directed. Then apply a thin layer of the medication on the skin, usually once or twice a day or as directed by your doctor. Wash your hands after use.Do not use large amounts or apply this more often or for a longer period than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but the risk of side effects may be increased.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time(s) each day.Avoid getting this medication in your eyes or inside the nose or mouth. If this occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens. It may take up to 3 months of regular use before the full benefits of this medication take effect.

A/t/s Drug Class

A/t/s is part of the drug class:

  • Antiinfectives for treatment of acne

A/t/s Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of erythromycin, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

A/t/s Usage


Take erythromycin exactly as prescribed.

This medication comes in capsule, tablet, long-acting capsule, long-acting tablet, chewable tablet, suspension, and pediatric drop forms for oral use. It is usually taken 3 to 4 times daily.

Do not chew, divide, or break the long-acting capsules and tablets. Swallow these whole and take with a full glass of water.



This medication also comes in topical solution and gel forms and as an ophthalmic ointment.



This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of erythromycin at the same time.

Other Requirements


  • Store tablets and capsules at room temperature.
  • Store liquid medication in the refrigerator. Throw away unused medication after 14 days.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.



  • Store topical erythromycin at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Liver Dose Adjustments

Data not available

Erythromycin topical Pregnancy Warnings

Erythromycin topical gel, 1.5% solution, and swabs (i.e., pledgets, pads) have been assigned to pregnancy category B by the FDA. Erythromycin 2% topical solution has been assigned to pregnancy category C or B by the FDA; for example, Erythra-Derm(TM) has been assigned to pregnancy category C and Fougera(R) Erythromycin Topical Solution USP 2% has been assigned to pregnancy category B. Erythromycin topical ointment has not been formally assigned to a pregnancy category by the FDA. Animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of teratogenicity. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy, and there have been no reports of adverse fetal effects in humans. Erythromycin topical is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.