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General Information
What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any

Brand names and manufacturer

Hostacycline (Sanofi aventis)

Tetrabact (Cipla)

Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

Tetracycline is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner. 


Tetracycline pronounced as: tet-ra-SYE-kleen 

What is tetracycline?

Tetracycline is an anti infective / antibacterial drug belonging to tetracycline group of antibiotics. 

Common uses of tetracycline

Tetracycline is used in the treatment of severe Acne, superficial bacterial infections of the eye, Urinary tract infection, Gonorrhoea and infections of the skin. 

How to use tetracycline

Take Tetracycline exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do not understand the instruction ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you. 

Take oral dose of Tetracycline on empty stomach 1hr before or 2hrs after meals with 1 glass of water at regular intervals as prescribed by your doctor.
Do not lie down for at least half an hour on your back after taking the oral dose of tetracycline.
Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better.
You must complete the entire course of medication to get maximum benefit; else the infection will not clear completely and in due course result in development of resistance.
Do not antacids, mineral supplement containing iron, zinc, calcium along with Tetracycline medication as it interferes with its absorption. Take it 2hrs before or 2hrs after taking Tetracycline.
Always check the date of expiry before using this medication as it can cause fatal damage to the kidneys if used past expiry date,
  • Inform your doctor if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like
    1. Retinoid drugs like Isotretinoin, Tretinoin
    2. Digoxin, lithium, theophylline
    3. Oral anticoagulants(warfarin)
    4. Penicillin antibiotics(ampicillin,amoxicillin, bacampicillin)
    5. Atovaquone (antimalarial)
  •   Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as Tetracycline should be used cautiously in the below mentioned conditions
    1. Liver disease
    2. Kidney disease
    3. Myasthenia gravis
    4. Lupus erythematosus
    5. Gastro oesophageal reflux disease( GERD)

When not to take tetracycline

Do not use tetracycline if you are allergic to tetracycline or any similar other antibiotics. 

What are the precautions I should follow for tetracycline?

Children: Tetracycline should not be used in children less than 8yrs as it can affect their growth and cause permanent discoloration of teeth.
Old people:
Pregnant woman:
Tetracycline belongs to FDA pregnancy category D. This means that tetracycline can harm an unborn baby and cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. Do not use tetracycline with out your doctor consent however its use is justified if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception. 

Lactating women: Tetracycline passes into breast milk and it can affect the childs growth and cause permanent discoloration of teeth.  Do not use tetracycline with out the consent from your doctor if you are breastfeeding your child.
Tetracycline can make the birth pills less effective. Consult your doctor regarding the use of other effective contraceptive methods like condoms, diaphragm, spermicidal gels etc to avoid pregnancy.

What are the dosage forms tetracycline is available in the market

Tetracycline is available as tablet, injection, topical cream and gel. Your doctor will prescribe them depending on the severity of the disease and condition 

Doses for tetracycline

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease. 

Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.
For detailed dosage information, consult your doctor who will prescribe you depending on the severity of the disease. 

What about if I missed the dose of tetracycline

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose. 

What should I do if I over dosage tetracycline

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

The overdose symptoms of Tetracycline are not known. 

What are the common side effects of tetracycline?

Tetracycline may causes following side effects like

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Swollen tongue
  • Discoloration of tooth & nails
  • Vaginal itching and discharge
  • Sores in the genital and rectal area

When to consult the health expert about the side effects of tetracycline

Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.

  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes peeling of skin, blistering etc
  • Decrease in the amount of urine passed
  • Severe diarrhoea associated with bloody stools
  • Jaundice( yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Severe pain in the upper abdomen radiating to back( oesophageal ulceration/pancreatitis)

How do I store tetracycline?

Store tetracycline at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.

Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely. 

What is the most important information I should know about tetracycline

Avoid taking dairy product when on Tetracycline medication as it decreases its absorption. 

Tetracycline sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Avoid prolong exposure or uses long sleeved clothing and sunscreen (SPF-15) when you go out in sun.
Discard the leftover or expired tetracycline immediately. Use of expired medicine may lead to severe kidney damage.
Antibiotics usually cause mild diarrhoea. Consult your doctor immediately if it is severe, associated with mucus or bloody stools, as it could be sign of new infection or pseudomembranous colitis.

If you are planning to undergo any surgery inform your surgeon regarding the use of tetracycline medication.

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date: Mar7th,09