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Case Reports
, 92 (6), 678-84

Erythromycin Ototoxicity: Analysis and Conclusions Based on 22 Case Reports

Case Reports

Erythromycin Ototoxicity: Analysis and Conclusions Based on 22 Case Reports

R C Haydon et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.

Abstract

Although the majority of patients receiving erythromycin experience no hearing loss, certain patients are susceptible. Erythromycin ototoxicity data were analyzed on 20 patients from 13 reports in the English language literature as well as on two patients from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Patients were classified with respect to age, sex, premorbid diagnosis, renal/hepatic function, type of erythromycin used, dosage, duration of therapy, and route of administration. The following auditory effects were considered: onset of symptoms, degree and configuration of hearing loss, and recovery of hearing. The factors which, when combined with the use of high-dose erythromycin (greater than or equal to 2 gm/day), might place patients at risk for erythromycin ototoxicity are preexisting renal or hepatic disease, age (elderly), and perhaps being female. With knowledge of the predisposing factors and auditory effects, the clinician can more easily recognize hearing loss caused by erythromycin and properly counsel referring physicians and affected patients.

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