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Action on antibiotics

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The higher dosage formulations of two widely used antibiotics,

Eromycin and Ilosone, will be removed from the pharmaceutical benefits

list on September 1 because of a definite association with jaundice

and liver dysfunction.

. The products involved contain the estolate form of erythromycin.

Erythromycin is commonly used against a wide range ox bacteria roughly'

similar to those attacked by penicillin. ' ·

. The Minister for Health, Dr D.N. Everingham in announcing this

today, stressed that other forms of erythromycin were just as effective in

treating infections and had not. been associated with jaundice or liver

dysfunction. These would continue to be available.

The Australian Drug Evaluation Committee, which has thoroughly

investigated the adverse reports associated with the estolate forms will

publish its findings in the Medical Journal of Australia shortly.

Dr Everingham said that doctors had been circularised in advance

to inform them of the removal of the preparations from the list.

To date there have been no definite cases of jaundice which could

be associated with the use of Eromycin or Ilosone formluations for children

under six years of age. However, further investigations by the Australian

Drug Evaluation Committee are under way to see whether these formulations

should also be withdrawn from the.list.

Canberra, July 25» 1973· Dept. No. 52