|Type of medicine||Tetracycline antibiotic|
|Used for||Bacterial infections|
Oxytetracycline is used to treat infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Before taking oxytetracycline
Before taking oxytetracycline make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If the patient is under 12 years of age.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you suffer from porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you suffer from systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus or SLE).
- If you suffer from myasthenia gravis (a condition causing tired and weak muscles).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take oxytetracycline
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take oxytetracycline exactly as directed by your doctor.
- Swallow the tablets whole (not crushed or chewed), with plenty of water. Do not take them at the same time as food or milk as these may make oxytetracycline less effective. Take them one hour before or two hours after meals.
- To prevent these tablets from causing irritation in your throat, take them while you are sitting or standing up, and do not take them immediately before going to bed.
- Take your doses spread out evenly during the day and try to take them at the same times each day. This is important in order to keep a steady level of oxytetracycline in your body.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
- Do not take any indigestion remedies, iron or zinc supplements at the same time of day as oxytetracycline as they can stop it from working.
- If you are taking oxytetracycline to treat acne or rosacea, it is quite normal for your treatment to continue for several weeks or months.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is important that you complete the full course of oxytetracycline which you have been prescribed, unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor. If you stop taking this medicine too soon your infection is likely to return and could be more difficult to treat.
- If you are using hormonal contraception (the 'pill'), the current advice (January 2011) is that additional contraceptive precautions such as condoms are not required during a course of this antibiotic unless you are sick or have diarrhoea. If you need further advice, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Oxytetracycline may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Until you know how your skin reacts, use a sun block product to prevent this, especially in strong sunlight.
- This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.
Can oxytetracycline cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick, abdominal pain||Drink plenty of liquid. Stick to simple foods|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If diarrhoea continues to be a problem, or if it is severe, speak with your pharmacist or doctor|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, or if it is severe, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you develop any of the following, speak with your doctor straight away:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
- Blurred vision.
- A severe rash.
- Unusual bruising.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store oxytetracycline
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Oxytetracycline Tablets 250 mg; Manufacturer's PIL, Oxytetracycline Tablets 250 mg, Actavis UK Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2009.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 20/04/2011||Document ID: 1442 Version: 25||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.