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What is this medication?

Antibiotic, Tetracycline Derivative

Tetracycline is used on and off label for various infections depending on your common local bacterial strains for various infections and based on local resistance patterns.  Not all antibiotics work for all infections and efficacy can vary from area to area and vary with time.

How does this medication work?

Tetracycline binds to ribosomal subunits (30S,50S) of certain bacteria thereby stopping protein synthesis for the cell eventually resulting in cell death. May also affect cytoplasmic membrane.

How should I take this medication?

Oral: 250mg-500mg every 6-12 hours

How to Take:  Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, swallow whole with a whole glass of water and do not lay down for 15 minutes after to prevent reflux, take consistently at same times each, store at room temperature.  Take on an empty stomach 1 hour prior to, or 2 hours after meals to increase absorption.  Administer 1-2 hours prior to, or 4 hours after aluminum/magnesium containing antacids as the cations may chelate with tetracycline and reduce its total absorption.

You Need to Avoid: Excessive sunlight exposure

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Before starting Tetracycline make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have liver disease, kidney disease, if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding.  Tetracycline use has been associated with rare but serious adverse events such as increased blood urea nitrogen, intracranial hypertension, photosensitivity reactions, and prolonged use has been associated with drug resistant superinfection.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose.  Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed.  Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Pericarditis, bulging fontanel, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, erythematous rash, maculopapular rash, skin photosensitivity, urticaria, fibula growth retardation, anorexia, diarrhea, dysphagia, enterocolitis, epigastric distress, glossitis, melanoglossia, nausea, vomiting, inflammatory anogenital lesion, Henoch-Schlonlein purpura, hepatotoxicity, anaphylaxis, angioedema, hypersensitivity reaction, serum sickness-like reaction,  exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Frequency of side effects have not been defined as tetracycline was in use prior to the stringent clinical trial requirements today.  Most commonly reported side effects are gastrointestinal effects and skin reactions.