Erythromycin or tetracycline ointment, the choice of drug

With infectious eye lesions, both drugs can be used, since they are equally effective. But if long-term treatment is required, then an agent with tetracycline should be chosen, since it to a lesser extent causes resistance of pathogenic microorganisms to an antibiotic.

Tetracycline and erythromycin penetrate the placenta and breast milk, so they must be used very carefully during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

If a medication is needed to treat skin lesions, then only 3% tetracycline ointment is suitable. It should be used to eliminate acne and rosacea, but for these diseases it is better to use other means aimed at combating acne.

Both methods are used in pediatrics, they are prescribed even to infants. For the treatment of ophthalmia in newborns, it is preferable to use an ointment with erythromycin.

It must be remembered that the use of drugs without first consulting a doctor is fraught with complications and the occurrence of side effects. If therapy is required for a pregnant woman or young child, then only a doctor should prescribe a medication.

For the treatment of infectious and purulent diseases of the eyes and skin, special external agents are used that contain antibiotics as the active substance . They fight infectious agents. The most effective drugs are erythromycin and tetracycline ointments, and many patients wonder – which of these drugs is better and more effective?

Erythromycin ointment

An external antibiotic used to treat ocular infectious and inflammatory diseases.

The main active ingredient of the drug is erythromycin. 1 g of the drug contains 10,000 units of erythromycin. Also in the composition are: lanolin, petrolatum and sodium disulfite.

Erythromycin ointment

Indications for use:

  • Conjunctivitis (including blepharoconjunctivitis).
  • Bacterial blepharitis.
  • Meibomite (barley).
  • Keratitis
  • Ophthalmia of the newborn.
  • Chlamydial infection of the eyes.
  • Trachoma.


  • Allergy to the components of the drug.
  • Severe liver disease.

Use the medication during pregnancy and lactation and for the treatment of infants is only if the risk of side effects is below the expected benefit. Erythromycin passes into the placenta and breast milk.

Side effects : the occurrence of allergic reactions (redness, itching, burning, tissue swelling, increased tearing). With prolonged use, the drug may develop a secondary infection (as a result of microorganisms getting used to the active substance).

It is made in Russia. It is released without a prescription.

Tetracycline ointment

A broad-spectrum antibiotic from the tetracycline group, which has a bacteriostatic effect. It is used to treat infectious external diseases. It destroys the connection between tRNA and the ribosome in the bacterial cell, which leads to the suppression of protein synthesis.

Tetracycline ointment

The main active ingredient of the drug is tetracycline (tetracycline hydrochloride). Available in two forms – 1% (10,000 units) and 3% (30,000 units).

Indications for use:

1% ointment 3% ointment
Maybomite (barley).
· Lesions of the mucous membranes of the eyes with pink acne.
Purulent lesions of soft tissues and mucous membranes.
Eczema infected.
· Acne (including rosacea).

The medication can not be used with individual intolerance to the components of the drug and at the age of less than 11 years (for 3% of the form).

During pregnancy and lactation, the drug can be used provided that the risk of side effects is lower than the expected benefit.

Side effects: allergic reactions (burning, itching, swelling and redness of the tissues, increased tearing).

It is made in Russia. It is released without a prescription.


Both medicines are antibiotics and are intended for the treatment of infectious diseases of the eyes, accompanied by the release of pus. They have a bacteriostatic effect – inhibit the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms.

Funds are available in the form of ointments and contain the same base – petrolatum, lanolin, sodium disulfite.

Erythromycin and tetracycline have the same indications for use – different types of conjunctivitis, blepharitis, keratitis, barley and trachoma. They can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but only according to strict indications and provided that the expected benefit is higher than the risk of side effects in the fetus and baby.

Both substances – erythromycin and tetracycline hydrochloride form salts with calcium and iron ions; therefore, it is not recommended to use medications simultaneously with dairy products (since they contain calcium), preparations containing iron, calcium, aluminum and magnesium salts.

Side effects of the funds are also the same – they can cause burning and itching of the skin, swelling and hyperemia of the tissues.

Both drugs are produced in Russia and are sold over the counter.


Despite the strong similarity, erythromycin and tetracycline ointments have some differences:

  1. The main difference between the funds is the main active ingredient. Erythromycin ointment contains erythromycin, and tetracycline ointment contains tetracycline.
  2. Tetracycline ointment is available in two forms – 1% and 3%. A three percent form is used to treat infectious lesions of the skin and mucous membranes.
  3. Erythromycin can be used at any age, including children. A three percent tetracycline ointment is contraindicated in patients under 11 years of age.
  4. The drug containing erythromycin can not be used for severe liver pathologies. It should also be used with extreme caution in kidney pathologies.

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