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What is Tetracycline?
Tetracycline is an antibiotic drug prescribed for the treatment of various infections such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and others. It is marketed and sold under various trade names, a couple of which are Sumycin and Hostacycline (made by Aventis).
Important Information about Tetracycline
Do not take Tetracycline if you are allergic to it, or to similar medicines like demeclocycline, doxycycline, or minocycline.
Tetracycline can interfere with the working of birth control pills and make them less effective. It is recommended
that you use a non hormonal form of birth control such as condom, diaphragm, or spermicidal while taking this medicine. Tetracycline is not recommended for children. This medicine can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children younger than 8 years old.
Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking Tetracycline. Complete the full course of this medicine as prescribed even after your symptoms are cleared or gone. Not completing the full course of an antibiotic may lead to a relapse of your condition which can be drug resistant and difficult to treat
Tetracycline is an FDA pregnancy category D drug. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this medicine.
Before taking Tetracycline
Before taking Tetracycline (Sumycin, Hostacycline), you must consult a doctor to ensure that this medication is safe for you. You must take care of all precautions mentioned above. Discuss them with your doctor and clear all doubts which you may have about this drug.
How should I take Tetracycline?
Take Tetracycline (Sumycin, Hostacycline) strictly according to your doctor's direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication.
Take Tetracycline at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Always store this medicine in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose?
It is important to take all doses on time as prescribed. However, If you miss a dose of Tetracycline for reasons out of your control, take it as soon as you remember. Don't take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Tetracycline, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately. Overdose may lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Tetracycline
Antibiotics can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you get watery or bloody diarrhea, stop taking Tetracycline and call your doctor immediately. Do not use anti diarrhea medicine without asking your doctor. Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking Tetracycline.
Avoid sunlight or artificial UV light exposure (sunlamps or tanning beds). Tetracycline can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and you can easily get sunburned. If you must venture out in the sun, use a proper sunscreen (minimum SPF of 15) and wear proper protective clothing.
Tetracycline Side Effects
Some common side effects of Tetracycline are an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. If any of these effects persist or deteriorate, inform your doctor right away. Some rare but common side effects include vision changes (blurred vision), unusual or severe headache, or changes in amount of urine. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any serious side effects
Tetracycline may, in rare cases lead to a severe intestinal condition called as Clostridium difficile- associated diarrhea due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may be seen during treatment or several weeks or months after stopping the treatment. Inform your doctor if you get this condition. Use of Tetracycline for a long period of time or repeated treatment may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Notify your doctor if you see white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Tetracycline. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Tetracycline Dosing Information
Tetracycline dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor's advice properly for best results
Interaction with other drugs
Other drugs can interact with Tetracycline. Notify your doctor if you use any of the following medicines: cholesterol lowering medicines such as cholestyramine or cholestipol, isotretinoin, tretinoin, antacids, a product that contains bismuth subsalicylate such as Pepto-Bismol, blood thinner like warfarin, multi vitamins and multi minerals, or penicillin antibiotics (amoxicillin, ampicillin, dicloxacillin, and others).
These are not the only drugs that can interact with Tetracycline. There may be others. Never start a new medication without taking proper medical advice.