IndicationsTetracycline, is used to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; acne; infections of skin, genital and urinary systems; and the infection that causes stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori). It also may be used as an alternative to other medications for the treatment of Lyme disease and for the treatment and prevention of anthrax (after inhalational exposure). Tetracycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
DoseringTetracycline comes as a capsule and suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken two to four times daily. Tetracycline should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals or snacks. Drink a full glass of water with each dose of tetracycline. Do not take tetracycline with food, especially dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tetracycline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
VoorzichtigBefore taking tetracycline, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, sulfites, or any other medications. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take, especially antacids, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), and penicillin. Tetracycline may decrease the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives; another method of birth control should be used while taking this drug. be aware that antacids, calcium supplements, iron products, and laxatives containing magnesium interfere with tetracycline, making it less effective. Take tetracycline 1 hour before or 2 hours after antacids (including sodium bicarbonate), calcium supplements, and laxatives containing magnesium. Take tetracycline 2 hours before or 3 hours after iron preparations and vitamin products that contain iron. tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, allergies, asthma, hay fever, hives, or kidney or liver disease. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking tetracycline. plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Tetracycline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. you should know that when tetracycline is used during pregnancy or in babies or children up to age 8, it can cause the teeth to become permanently stained. Tetracycline should not be used in children under age 8 unless your doctor decides it is needed.
Tetracycline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- itching of the rectum or vagina
- sore mouth
- redness of the skin (sunburn)
- changes in skin color
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe headache
- blurred vision
- skin rash
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark-colored urine
- light-colored bowel movements
- loss of appetite
- upset stomach
- stomach pain
- extreme tiredness or weakness
- joint stiffness or swelling
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- decreased urination
- pain or discomfort in the mouth
- throat sores
- fever or chills
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch
] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].