Tetracycline is the generic name for the drug that is branded as Brodspec, Emtet-500, Panmycin, Sumycin, and Tetracap. It is commonly referred to by its generic name, not its brand names. Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to fight bacterial infections. Common infections that tetracycline are used to fight are sinus infections, acne, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and urinary tract infections. Tetracycline may be used for other conditions not described here.
It is important that you finish all the tetracycline prescribed for you, even if you feel better. Symptoms may clear, but the bacteria may not have been completely killed off in the body. Children under eight years of age should not take tetracycline. Tetracycline may cause permanent tooth darkening and adversely affect growth. When taking tetracycline, do not take multivitamins, calcium, antacids, laxatives or iron supplements within two hours of ingestion. Tetracycline can decrease the effectiveness of some birth control pills. If you are on birth control pills, use a back up method of birth control during your tetracycline treatment to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Tetracycline causes sun sensitivity. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and UV light, such as tanning beds or lamps. Severe burning can occur if you are not properly protected. Wear the appropriate clothing and sunscreen if you are going to be in the sun.
Make sure you tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease before taking tetracycline. You may need an adjusted dose, may not be able to take this medication or may require special health monitoring during treatment. The US FDA categorizes drugs based on safety for pregnant women. Tetracycline is FDA category D, meaning it is a known harmful substance to unborn babies. Tetracycline can affect bone and tooth growth in a fetus. Do not take this medication without consulting with your doctor first, if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. Tetracycline passes into breast milk and can affect bone and tooth development in nursing babies. Discuss the risks with your doctor, if you are breast-feeding. Children under eight should not take tetracycline.
Take tetracycline exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you have any questions about the instructions, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Take each dose with eight ounces of water. Water will prevent inflammation or irritation of the esophagus. If taking the suspension form of tetracycline, shake well before measuring. Measure the correct dose, use a cooking measuring spoon or a measuring device provided by your pharmacist. Do not use a regular table teaspoon or a eating tablespoon. Take this medication on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after eating a meal. Do not take dairy products, multi-vitamins, calcium, antacids, laxatives or iron supplements within two hours (either before or after) taking this medication. These products can interfere with the strength of tetracycline. Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture.
A missed dose should be taken as soon as it is remembered. If it is almost time for the regularly scheduled dose, do not double the dose, and simply take the regularly scheduled does.
If you believe you have overdosed seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of an overdose are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
A severe reaction indicates an allergy, to this drug, which may be life-threatening, seek emergency medical intervention. Allergic reaction presents as shortness of breath, hives, swelling of lips, throat, face or tongue, fainting or rash.
If you experience these serious side effects STOP taking this medication and seek emergency medical attention:
severe headache, confusion or impaired vision
yellowing of the eyes, skin (jaundice)
severe nausea, abdominal pain, atypical bleeding severe fatigue
If you experience these side effects, you can continue taking the medication, but should contact your doctor as soon as possible:
severe sensitivity to sunlight
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
vaginal yeast overgrowth
Other side effects not described here can occur. If they are particularly annoying or worrisome, contact your doctor.
Your doctor should be aware of the following medications, if you are taking them, before prescribing tetracycline:
antacids or products containing bismuth sub-salicylate
minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium or calcium
Questran (cholestyramine) or Colestid (colestipol)
blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin)
any penicillin antibiotic
As always, if you need more information, contact your physician or pharmacist regarding this medication.
Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic prepared from the cultures of certain streptomyces species. Chemically, Tetracycline HCl is: (4S-(48,1a,4aa,5aa,6b,12aa))-4- (dimethylamino)-1, 4,4a,5, 5a,6, 11, 12a-octahydro -3,6,10,12,12a- pentahydroxy-6-methyl-1,11-dioxo- 2- napthacenecarboxamide monohydrochloride.
Tetracycline has the following structural formula: