(Rx) - indicates only available by prescription
Tetracycline is used to treat a wide variety of infections, including acne. It is an antibiotic that works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
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 10 minutes after taking this medication. For this reason, do not take it right before bedtime.
Take this medication 2-3 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 (e.g., milk, yogurt), calcium-enriched juice, bismuth subsalicylate, iron, and zinc. These products bind with tetracycline, preventing its full absorption.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For use in children older than 8 years of age, the dosage is also based on weight.
Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
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.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking tetracycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other tetracyclines (e.g., 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 (e.g., hiatal hernia, reflux disease-GERD).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using tetracycline.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
This medication should not be used in 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.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy because of possible harm to an unborn baby. Women of child-bearing age should use effective birth control while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details.
This medication passes into breast milk in very small amounts. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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 persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she 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 immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: sunburn (sun sensitivity), nail discoloration, muscle pain, difficult or painful swallowing, change in the amount of urine, brown/gray tooth discoloration, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, unusual fatigue, new signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat, fever, chills).
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: hearing changes (e.g., ringing in the ears, decreased hearing), persistent or severe headache, vision changes (e.g., blurred vision), easy bruising/bleeding, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped.. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool..
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 unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: 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.