Does Sumycin (tetracycline) cause side effects?

Sumycin (tetracycline) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic effective against infections from many different types of bacteria such as Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and many others. 

Examples of infections include infections of the respiratory tract, urinary tract, and skin; urethritis, typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), acne, anthrax, cholera, and H. pylori. 

Sumycin prevents growth of bacteria by preventing the bacteria from manufacturing proteins that they need to survive. The brand name Sumycin is discontinued.

Common side effects of Sumycin include:

Serious side effects of Sumycin include:

Drug interactions of Sumycin include penicillin because Sumycin may interfere with the bactericidal action of penicillin. 

Tetracycline antibiotics have been shown to depress plasma prothrombin activity, so patients on anticoagulant therapy may require downward adjustment of anticoagulant dosage. 

Absorption of Sumycin is impaired by antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, and iron-containing preparations. 

Concurrent use of Sumycin may render oral contraceptives less effective. 

The concurrent use of Sumycin and methoxyflurane has been reported to result in fatal renal toxicity. 

Using Sumycin during pregnancy could harm a fetus or cause permanent tooth discoloration later in the child's life. 

Sumycin is secreted into breast milk. Since Sumycin can impair the development of bone in infants, breastfeeding mothers should not use Sumycin.

What are the important side effects of Sumycin (tetracycline)?

Tetracycline is generally well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:

Tetracycline may cause discoloration of teeth if used in patients below 8 years of age. Exaggerated sunburn can occur with tetracycline (photosensitivity). Therefore, sunlight or sunlamp exposure should be minimized during treatment.

Sumycin (tetracycline) side effects list for healthcare professionals

Gastrointestinal: anorexia, epigastric distress, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bulky loose stools, stomatitis, sore throat, glossitis, black hairy tongue, dysphagia, hoarseness, enterocolitis, and inflammatory lesions (with candidal overgrowth) in the anogenital region, including proctitis and pruritus ani. Rare instances of esophagitis and esophageal ulceration have been reported in patients receiving particularly the capsule and also the tablet forms of tetracyclines. Most of the patients were reported to have medication immediately before going to bed. These reactions have been caused by both the oral and parenteral administration of tetracyclines but are less frequent after parenteral use.

Skin and Skin Structures: maculopapular and erythematous rashes. Exfoliative dermatitis has been reported but is uncommon. Onycholysis and discoloration of the nails have been reported rarely. Photosensitivity has occurred.

Renal Toxicity: increases in BUN have been reported and are apparently dose-related.

Hepatic Cholestasis: has been reported rarely, and is usually associated with high dosage levels of tetracycline.

Hypersensitivity Reactions: Anaphylaxis; serum sickness-like reactions, as fever, rash, and arthralgia; urticaria, angioneurotic edema, anaphylactoid purpura, pericarditis, exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Hematological: Blood: anemia, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, neutropenia and eosinophilia have been reported.

Miscellaneous: Dizziness and headache have been reported.

When given over prolonged periods, tetracyclines have been reported to produce brown-black microscopic discoloration of thyroid glands. No abnormalities of thyroid function are known to occur. Bulging fontanels in infants and intracranial hypertension in adults have been reported.

What drugs interact with Sumycin (tetracycline)?

PENICILLIN-Since bacteriostatic drugs like tetracycline may interfere with the bactericidal action of penicillin, it is advisable to avoid giving tetracycline in conjunction with penicillin.

ANTICOAGULANTS-Because the tetracyclines have been shown to depress plasma prothrombin activity, patients who are on anticoagulant therapy may require downward adjustment of their anticoagulant dosage.

ANTACIDS AND IRON CONTAINING PRODUCTS-Absorption of tetra- cycline is impaired by antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, and iron containing preparations.

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES-Concurrent use of tetracycline may render oral contraceptives less effective.

METHOXYFLURANE-The concurrent use of tetracycline and methoxyflurane has been reported to result in fatal renal toxicity.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/18/2020
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Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.