Dealing with Discontinued Medication

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • "This medication has been discontinued."


    That's what our pharmacist told us the last time we went to pick up my son's prescription for Erythomycin. You may remember that Erythomycin is a common antibiotic that is often used to help individuals who may have an allergy to penicillin, and it can also help with gastric emptying for reflux patients. I wrote about how well the drug was working with my son's nasal stuffiness at However, since that SharePost, we were told the manufacturer temporarily discontinued Erythromycin ES, which is a liquid suspension of the medication.

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    After we found out the medication had been discontinued, our pharmacist offered to compound the medication for us (this was suggested by our GI doctor). However, our pharmacist called us back to say she was unable to secure the chemicals to make the medication (we found two pharmacies who could obtain the chemicals and compound the medication, but they were located quite a distance from us). We once again contacted our son's doctor, and he suggested we try Erythromycin in the pill form. The good part is that a pill does not need refrigeration as does the liquid form, but the bad part is that our son is only six, and had not yet taken pills. We also learned that the Erythromycin suspension had been put back on the market, but at half of the concentration of the previous formula. Our son would now have to take twice as much each day of the liquid medication than he did before. The best news is that we purchased an inexpensive pill cutter to make the pills smaller, and my son has successfully become a taker of Erythromycin in the pill form.


    I am hoping that this information will help some of you in the same situation, or that if you are aware of other information about the medication, you will share it with our readers.


Published On: December 31, 2008