Hearing loss and erythromycin pharmacokinetics in a patient receiving hemodialysis

Arch Intern Med. 1983 Jun;143(6):1263-5.


A left upper lobe pneumonia developed in a patient who was receiving hemodialysis; he was treated intravenously with 1 g of erythromycin lactobionate every six hours. After five doses, hearing loss was noted; this was later documented by audiogram. Erythromycin serum concentrations as high as 100 mg/L and a half-life more than three times longer than normal were observed. To our knowledge, this represents the first report of reversible hearing loss associated with elevated serum erythromycin concentrations and prolonged serum half-life.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry
  • Erythromycin / adverse effects
  • Erythromycin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Erythromycin / blood
  • Erythromycin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Hearing Loss / chemically induced*
  • Hearing Loss, Functional / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Time Factors


  • erythromycin lactobionate
  • Erythromycin