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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Tetracycline
Tetracycline
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(tet ra SYE kleen)

Brand Names
Achromycin®[DSC]; Brodspec®; EmTet®; Sumycin® Oral; TetraCap®; Topicycline® Topical; Wesmycin®

Foreign Brand Names
Acromicina (Mexico); Ambotetra (Mexico); Apo-Tetra® (Canada); Novo-Tetra (Canada); Nu-Tetra (Canada); Quimocyclar (Mexico); Tetra-Atlantis® (Mexico); Zorbenal-G (Mexico)

Therapeutic Categories
Antibiotic, Ophthalmic; Antibiotic, Tetracycline Derivative; Antibiotic, Topical

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to tetracycline or any other part of the medicine.
  • Do not give to children less than 8 years of age.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to prevent and to treat a variety of bacterial infections.
  • When applied to the skin, it is used for the prevention and treatment of acne.
  • It can be used by dentist to treat adult periodontitis.


How does it work?

  • Tetracycline inhibits the protein production in bacteria preventing them from living.


How is it best taken?

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Oral:
    • Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
    • Do not take dairy products, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, multivitamins with minerals, colestipol, cholestyramine, didanosine, or antacids within 2 hours of this medicine.
    • A liquid (suspension) is available if you cannot swallow pills. Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given. Shake well first.
    • Stop tube feeding for 2 hours, flush tube, and give medication. Flush tube and restart tube feeding 1 hour later.
  • Skin:
    • Do not take by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Clean affected area before use.
    • Apply solution until skin is wet.
    • Cosmetics can be used after the skin has dried.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Oral:
    • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
    • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
    • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.
  • Skin:
    • Apply a missed dose as soon as possible.
    • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and return to your regular schedule.
    • Do not apply a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • You can get sunburned more easily. Avoid lots of sun. Use sunscreen; wear protective clothing and eyewear.
  • Oral:
    • Not to be used in children younger than 8 years of age.
    • Do not take bismuth (Pepto-Bismol®) with this medicine.
    • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor). May make infection more difficult to treat.
    • Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Use birth control that you can trust while taking this medicine.
    • Birth control pills may not work. Use another form of birth control while taking this medicine.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.
  • Skin:
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.
  • Dental:
    • Avoid actions that may remove or change the position of the fiber. Do not chew hard, crusty, or sticky foods.
    • Do not brush or floss near the area or poke with fingers or tongue.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Oral:
    • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
    • Belly pain and cramps.
  • Diarrhea. Yogurt, Bifidobacterium bifidum , or Lactobacillus acidophilus may help. These products are available at health food stores or in some pharmacies.
    • Vaginal irritation. Report itching or discharge to healthcare provider.
  • Skin:
    • Stinging, burning. This usually goes away in a few minutes. Yellowing of the skin. This will wash off.
  • Dental:
    • Discomfort around placement area, redness when fiber removed.
    • Inflammation and pain in mouth.


What should I monitor?

  • Watch for change in temperature or worsening of infection if you are being treated for an active infection.
  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe headache.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.
  • If the dental fiber moves, breaks, if there is severe pain, swelling, or bleeding.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.
  • Throw away any oral medicine not used. Do not keep.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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