Generic Name: Tetracycline (Systemic) (tet ra SYE kleen)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 17, 2020.
Uses of Tetracycline:
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Tetracycline?
- If you are allergic to tetracycline (systemic); any part of tetracycline (systemic); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Acitretin, isotretinoin, or a penicillin.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with tetracycline (systemic).
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 tetracycline (systemic) 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 Tetracycline?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take tetracycline (systemic). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on tetracycline (systemic) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- This medicine may make you sunburn more easily. Use care if you will be in the sun. Tell your doctor if you sunburn easily while taking this drug.
- If you have lupus, tetracycline (systemic) can make your lupus active or get worse. Tell your doctor right away if you get any new or worse signs.
- 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 tetracycline (systemic).
- This medicine may cause a change in tooth color to yellow-gray-brown in children younger than 8 years old. If this change of tooth color happens, it will not go away. Talk with the doctor.
- Most of the time, tetracycline (systemic) is not for use in children younger than 8 years old. However, there may be times when these children may need to take tetracycline (systemic). Talk with the doctor.
- 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 tetracycline (systemic), call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Tetracycline) best taken?
Use tetracycline (systemic) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Keep taking tetracycline (systemic) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to take tetracycline (systemic) with regard to food.
- 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 tetracycline (systemic). Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Do not eat or drink dairy products or take calcium at the same time as tetracycline (systemic). They may make tetracycline (systemic) not work as well. If you have questions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- 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.
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.
- Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak.
- Black, hairy tongue.
- Throat irritation.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Joint pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
- 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 tetracycline (systemic). Most of the time, this will go back to normal after tetracycline (systemic) is stopped. Sometimes, loss of eyesight may happen and may not go away even after tetracycline (systemic) 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 Tetracycline?
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:
- Not hungry.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
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 Tetracycline?
- Store at room temperature protected from light. Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Throw away any unused part of tetracycline (systemic).
- 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 tetracycline (systemic), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
More about tetracycline
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 44 Reviews
- Drug class: tetracyclines
- FDA Alerts (1)
- Tetracycline (class) Oral, Parenteral (Advanced Reading)
- Tetracycline Mucous membrane, oral (Advanced Reading)