Tetracycline is used to treat infections.


​​​What is this medication us​​ed for

Tetracycline is used to treat infections.

It is also used for the treatment of acne by suppressing the growth of the acne bacteria and decreasing the inflammation caused by the bacteria. 

Dosage and How to Use​​

For patients taking tetracycline:

  • Take tetracycline on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals, for better absorption. However, if it upsets your stomach, you should take it with some food.
  • Avoid taking milk or dairy products, antacids or products containing calcium or iron together with tetracycline. These may reduce the effectiveness of tetracycline. You can take these 2 hours before or after tetracycline.
​This medicine should be taken with a glass of water to prevent irritation of the oesophagus (gullet). Avoid lying down for at least 2 hours after ingestion. 

For effective treatment, you should complete the full course of medication prescribed even though there are signs of improvement.

Missed ​​​​​​a Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose.

Do not double the next dose to make up for the missed dose.

Side Effects, Precautions, Contraindication

What are the possible side effects of this medicine? 

In the treatment of acne, this medicine is usually given for about 4 to 6 months. If the acne is not controlled, this medicine can be taken for longer periods without any serious side effects.

Certain side effects of this medicine are not unusual and may even disappear during treatment. If any of the following effects persist or are severe, consult your doctor:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomachache or “wind” in the stomach
  • Diarrhoea
  • Itching of the genital areas; sore mouth or tongue. This may indicate a yeast infection, which may need treatment if severe
  • Increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight resulting in a skin rash, itching, redness, discoloration or severe sunburn.  You will need to avoid prolonged exposure to strong sunlight if this occurs.

Stop the medication and consult your doctor if you develop any new rash soon after starting the medication.

What precau​​tions should you take?

  • For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding as this medicine may affect the bones and teeth of the baby (*see below).
  • T​his medicine​ may reduce the effectiveness of your oral contraceptives and increase the chance of unwanted pregnancy.
  • Young children under 12 years of age should not take this medicine​ as the medicine can cause discoloration of teeth and also slow down the growth of bones*.
  • Tetracyclines may have drug interactions with some other medications. If taken concurrently, this medicine​ may increase the blood level of the other medications such as methotrexate and warfarin. This should NOT be taken concurrently with acitretin or isotretinoin, due to an increased risk of high pressure in the head leading to headaches, nausea and vomiting.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.
  • Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.


Handling and Sto​​​rage

  • Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children.
  • Do not keep this medicine​ with other medications in the same container. Keep each medicine separately in labeled containers.
  • Discard all expired medicines as expired products may be harmful.

When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist

National Skin Centre
1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205
Tel: 63508454

February 2017​

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