Tetracycline is used to treat a wide variety of infections, including acne. It is an antibiotic that works by stopping the growth of bacteria.This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.Tetracycline can also be used in combination with anti-ulcer medications to treat certain types of stomach ulcers.
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Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 4 times daily. Tetracycline works best when taken on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. If stomach upset occurs, ask your doctor if you can take this medication with food. Take each dose with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this medication. For this reason, do not take it right before bedtime.
Take this medication 2 to 3 hours before or after taking any products containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium. Some examples include antacids, quinapril, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), vitamins/minerals, and sucralfate. Follow the same instructions with dairy products (such as milk, yogurt), calcium-enriched juice, bismuth subsalicylate, iron, and zinc. These products bind with tetracycline, preventing its full absorption.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For use in children older than 8 years of age, the dosage is also based on weight.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full-prescribed amount is finished even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a relapse of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, mouth sores, black hairy tongue, sore throat, dizziness, headache, or rectal discomfort may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: nail discoloration, muscle pain, difficult or painful swallowing, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), brown/gray tooth discoloration, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, unusual fatigue, new signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills), hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears, decreased hearing), easy bruising/bleeding, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
Tetracycline may rarely cause increased pressure around the brain (intracranial hypertension-IH). The risk of this side effect is greater for women of childbearing age who are overweight or who have had IH in the past. If IH develops, it usually goes away after tetracycline is stopped; however, there is a chance of permanent vision loss or blindness. Get medical help right away if you have: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, headache that is severe or doesn't go away, vision changes (such as blurred/double vision, decreased vision, sudden blindness).
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition due to a bacteria called C. difficile. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: diarrhea that doesn't stop, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
If you have these symptoms, do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid products because they may make symptoms worse.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection (oral or vaginal fungal infection). Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, skin lesions/sores, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, new or worsening swelling/pain in the joints, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Side Effects section.
Before taking tetracycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other tetracyclines (such as doxycycline, minocycline), or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, problems swallowing, esophagus problems (such as hiatal hernia, reflux disease-GERD).
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Tetracycline may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work well. Tell your health care professional that you are using tetracycline before having any immunizations/vaccinations.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug.
This medication should not be used by children younger than 8 years of age because it may cause permanent tooth discoloration and other problems. Tooth discoloration has also occurred in older children and young adults. Consult your doctor for more information.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using tetracycline. Tetracycline may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: atovaquone, retinoid medications taken by mouth (such as acitretin, isotretinoin), strontium, digoxin, kaolin pectin, warfarin.
This product can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor tells you to.
Lab and/or medical tests may be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Taking outdated tetracycline can result in serious illness. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.