Erythromycin is a broad spectrum macrolide antibiotic. In the UK, it is available in over 15 oral preparations, presented as tablets, capsules, suspensions or granules containing the drug as erythromycin base, as the stearate salt, or as an ester. How the drug is formulated affects the absorption and bioavailability of erythromycin, so could in theory influence its effectiveness and the incidence of unwanted effects. We review the different oral preparations and consider whether the choice of formulation matters in practice.
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