Lymecycline capsules

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Lymecycline is an antibiotic. It is important to take your doses regularly, and to finish the full course of treatment.

Do not take indigestion remedies, or supplements containing iron, magnesium, or zinc at the same time.

The most common side-effects are stomach upset and diarrhoea.

Type of medicineTetracycline antibiotic
Used forBacterial infections; and acne
Also calledTetralysal®
Available asCapsules

Lymecycline is an antibacterial medicine. This means that it stops infections caused by bacteria. It can be prescribed to treat acute bacterial infections (such as chest infections, urine infections, skin infections, and mouth infections), although other antibiotics are often preferred.

Lymecycline is most often prescribed to treat acne. It works by killing bacteria which contribute to acne.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking lymecycline it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If so, you should not take lymecycline.
  • If you are under 12 years of age. Lymecycline should not be given to children.
  • If you have liver or kidney problems.
  • If you have systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus, or SLE) or myasthenia gravis (a condition causing muscle weakness). Lymecycline can make these conditions worse.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the capsules and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
  • Take lymecycline exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is likely you will be asked to take 1-2 capsules twice a day if you are being treated for an acute infection, and one capsule daily if you are being treated for acne. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you which dose is right for you, and this will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you. Each capsule contains 408 mg of lymecycline. This is equivalent to 300 mg of a similar medicine called tetracycline. Depending on which brand of capsules you have been prescribed, either of these strengths may be printed on the label.
  • The capsules may cause throat irritation. To prevent this, do not open or chew the capsules, and swallow them with a large drink of water. Try to avoid taking the capsules just before lying down or at bedtime.
  • Do not take indigestion remedies, or supplements containing iron, magnesium, or zinc at the same time as you take this medicine. This is because lymecycline combines with these things and makes it less effective. If you need to take any of these preparations, make sure you leave at least two hours before or after taking lymecycline before you have them.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you are taking more than one dose each day, space your remaining doses evenly throughout the rest of the day. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
  • Your course of treatment may last a week or so for an acute infection, or for at least eight weeks if you are taking it for acne. It is important you keep taking the capsules until the course is finished, unless you are told to stop by a doctor.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with lymecycline, as a number of 'over-the-counter' remedies can interfere with it.
  • Some people develop thrush (redness and itchiness in the mouth or vagina) after taking a course of an antibiotic. If this happens to you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  • If you are using combined oral hormonal contraception (the 'pill'), 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 about this, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Lymecycline may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Avoid strong sunlight and sunbeds until you know how your skin reacts.
  • 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.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common lymecycline side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine
What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick, abdominal painStick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If this continues or is severe, speak with a doctor
HeadacheAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller

Important: lymecycline can occasionally cause allergic reactions, such as a skin rash. Speak with a doctor as soon as possible if this happens.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Tetralysal® 300; Galderma (UK) Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2009.
  • British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

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.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
995 (v26)
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