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
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.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.