tetracycline (Sumycin [Discontinued])

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 250 and 500 mg; Oral Suspension: 125 mg/5 ml (teaspoon).

STORAGE: Tetracycline should be stored below 30 C (86 F).

DOSING: Food or dairy products reduce the absorption of tetracycline. Therefore, tetracycline should be taken at least two hours before or after meals. For most infections, tetracycline is taken two to four times daily for 7 to 14 days. The usual adult dose is 1-2 g/day in 2 or 4 divided doses.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tetracycline should not be taken at the same time as aluminum, magnesium, or calcium-based antacids (for example, aluminum with magnesium hydroxide-oral [Mylanta, Maalox], calcium carbonate [Tums, Rolaids]); iron supplements; bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol), and dairy products. These agents bind tetracycline in the intestine and reduce its absorption into the body.

Tetracycline may enhance the activity of the blood thinner, warfarin (Coumadin), and result in excessive "thinning" of the blood, necessitating a reduction in the dose of warfarin. Phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and barbiturates (such as phenobarbital) may enhance the elimination of tetracycline and reduce the effectiveness of tetracycline. Tetracycline may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

PREGNANCY: Tetracycline antibiotics can impair development of bone in the fetus. Therefore, tetracycline is not recommended during pregnancy unless there is no other appropriate antibiotic.

NURSING MOTHERS: Tetracycline is secreted into breast milk. Since tetracycline can impair the development of bone in infants, nursing mothers should not use tetracycline.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/13/2015
Pneumonia Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

See more info: tetracycline on RxList
RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors