Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum polyketide antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections such as urinary tract infection, chlamydia and others. Tetracycline inhibits protein synthesis. The term “tetracycline” is also used to refer to the 4-string system of the drug’s compound.
Follow your doctor’s exact instructions when taking Tetracycline. Do not take a smaller or larger dose than directed, or take it for longer than specified, even if symptoms have disappeared. You should take Tetracycline with a glass of water, without food, 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
Do not take Tetracycline with milk or other dairy products, unless specified otherwise by your doctor. Dairy products affect the medicine’s absorption in your body.
If you are scheduled to have a surgery while on Tetracycline, you must inform your surgeon in advance that you are taking the medicine.
Seek immediate emergency help if you experience the following allergic reactions: hives, breathing difficulty, swelling of the face, throat, lips or tongue.
If you experience the following serious side effects, stop taking Tetracycline and contact your doctor immediately:
- Lessened urination, not urinating at all or dark colored urine
- Fever, flu symptoms, body pain
- Blurred vision, lightheadedness, strong headaches
- Loss of appetite
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Unusual weakness, confusion
- Pale or yellow-colored skin
Milder side effects include:
- Swollen tongue
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or indigestion
- Sores and/or swelling in the rectal or genital area
- Vaginal itching or discharge
For a complete list of possible side effects, talk to your doctor.
DO NOT TAKE TETRACYCLINE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT. Taking this medication while pregnant could cause permanent teeth discoloration to the baby later in life. Tetracycline is transferred in the milk during breastfeeding, so you should talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding before taking this medicine. Tetracycline can also affect the effectiveness of birth control pills. While taking this medication, it is strongly recommended to use secondary birth control methods.
Do not give Tetracycline to children 8 years old or younger as it may cause permanent teeth discoloration and affects children’s growth.
While on Tetracycline, avoid exposure to sunlight and UV rays (such as in tanning beds), as the medicine can make your skin more prone to sunburns. If you must be exposed to sunlight, be sure to use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF level of 20. Also, use protective clothing.
If you are taking any multivitamins, iron supplements, calcium, laxatives or antacids, wait for at least 2 hours before or after taking Tetracycline.
DO NOT use expired Tetracycline as it may cause serious damage to the kidneys. If it has passed its expiration date, discard.
DO NOT take Tetracycline if you are allergic to it or to similar antibiotics including demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), or minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin).
Before taking Tetracycline, inform your doctor if you have kidney or liver conditions. If you are taking Tetracycline to treat gonorrhea, it is possible your doctor will also test you for syphilis.
Do not take Tetracycline if you are allergic to it or to similar medicines such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), or minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin). Additional drug interactions include:
- Medicines used to lower cholesterol levels
- Isotretinoin (Accutane)
- Products containing bismuth subsalicylate such as Pepto-Bismol
- Antacids such as Tums, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia and others
- Supplements of iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, over the counter multivitamins and minerals
- Blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin)
To learn what other medications and products have potential interactions with Tetracycline, speak to your doctor.