Medical Services Patients & Visitors Health Information For Medical Professionals Quality About Us
Text Size:  -   +  |  Print Page  |  Email Page

Tetracycline (By mouth)

Tetracycline (tet-ra-SYE-kleen)

Treats infections.

Brand Name(s):

Helidac Therapy, Sumycin, Wesmycin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use tetracycline if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any tetracycline antibiotic (doxycycline, minocycline). Do not give this medicine to children under 8 years old because it can permanently change tooth color. You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Swallow the medicine with a full glass of water. You may take the medicine with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Shake the oral liquid well just before each use. Measure the medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using penicillin, antacids (such as Maalox®, Mylanta®), a blood thinner (Coumadin®), or multivitamins or mineral supplements that contain calcium or magnesium.
  • Avoid taking the medicine with milk or other dairy products.
  • Birth control pills, may not work while you are using tetracycline. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Headache, blurred vision
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in the upper stomach
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Mild skin rash

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.


Copyright © 1984- Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.
Thomson & A.D.A.M