Skip to Content

Oxytetracycline

Generic Name: Oxytetracycline (oks i tet ra SYE kleen)

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 27, 2020.

Uses of Oxytetracycline:

  • It is used to treat bacterial infections.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Oxytetracycline?

  • If you are allergic to oxytetracycline; any part of oxytetracycline; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If you have porphyria.
  • If you have lupus.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Acitretin, isotretinoin, or a penicillin.
  • If you have a rare hereditary problem of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take oxytetracycline if you are pregnant.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with oxytetracycline.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take oxytetracycline with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Oxytetracycline?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take oxytetracycline. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on oxytetracycline for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take oxytetracycline.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • This medicine may cause a change in tooth color to yellow-gray-brown in children. If this change of tooth color happens, it will not go away. Talk with the doctor.
  • Some forms of oxytetracycline may not be for use in all ages of children. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking oxytetracycline.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking oxytetracycline, call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Oxytetracycline) best taken?

Use oxytetracycline as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Keep taking oxytetracycline as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.

Tablets:

  • Take on an empty stomach.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Do not take products that have iron, zinc, or sodium bicarbonate in them or products like antacids that have aluminum, calcium, or magnesium in them at the same time as oxytetracycline. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not eat or drink dairy products or take calcium at the same time as oxytetracycline. They may make oxytetracycline not work as well. If you have questions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Injection:

  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Tablets:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Injection:

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Redness or white patches in mouth or throat.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Diarrhea is common with antibiotics. Rarely, a severe form called C diff–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking antibiotics. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery, or bloody stools. Check with your doctor before treating diarrhea.
  • Raised pressure in the brain has happened with oxytetracycline. Most of the time, this will go back to normal after oxytetracycline is stopped. Sometimes, loss of eyesight may happen and may not go away even after oxytetracycline is stopped. Call your doctor right away if you have a headache or eyesight problems like blurred eyesight, seeing double, or loss of eyesight.

What are some other side effects of Oxytetracycline?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Diarrhea.

Injection:

  • Irritation where the shot is given.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Oxytetracycline?

Tablets:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Injection:

  • If you need to store oxytetracycline at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about oxytetracycline, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

More about oxytetracycline

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Hide