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What is tetracycline?

Tetracycline is an antibiotic that's used to treat a variety of bacterial infections and other conditions. It may be used to treat upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, typhus fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, gonorrhea and urinary tract infections. It also may be used to treat conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections. Sometimes, tetracycline is used to treat severe acne. Tetracycline works by decreasing bacteria's ability to make certain proteins that it needs to live. This helps kill bacteria and eliminate the infection. Tetracycline is available as a capsule that is to be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. This medication works best when taken on an empty stomach, so take it one to two hours before or after meals. Your dosage of medication will depend on what condition you're treating, but always take tetracycline as your doctor prescribes. This means that even if you're feeling better, you should continue taking tetracycline for the full amount of time your doctor recommends. There are several generic versions of tetracycline.
 

Continue Learning about Tetracyclines

What should I know about tetracycline before taking it?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
People with allergies or asthma are more likely to have an allergic reaction to tetracycline antibio...
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Is it safe for my daughter to go out in the sun if she's on tetracycline?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Your daughter should avoid the sun while she is taking tetracycline. If she does go out in the s...
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If I get an infection again, can I take my old tetracycline?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
You should not use tetracycline that's left over from a previous time you had an infection. You ...
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Why did my doctor tell me to wear sunscreen while I'm taking tetracycline?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Your doctor instructed you to apply a sunscreen (at least SPF 15) if you go out in the sunlight whil...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.