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Tetracycline (Tetracycline Hydrochloride) - Summary




Tetracycline is a yellow, odorless, crystalline powder. Tetracycline is stable in air but exposure to strong sunlight causes it to darken. Its potency is affected in solutions of pH below 2 and is rapidly destroyed by alkali hydroxide solutions. Tetracycline is very slightly soluble in water, freely soluble in dilute acid and in alkali hydroxide solutions, sparingly soluble in alcohol, and practically insoluble in chloroform and in ether. Each capsule, for oral administration, contains tetracycline hydrochloride 250 mg or 500 mg.

Tetracycline is indicated in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible strains of the designated organisms in the conditions listed below:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hemophilus influenzae.
    Note: Tetracycline should not be used for streptococcal disease unless the organism has been demonstrated to be susceptible.
  • Lower respiratory tract infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Eaton agent, and Klebsiellasp.)
  • Skin and soft tissue infections caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureaus.
    (Tetracyclines are not the drugs of choice in the treatment of any type of staphylococcal infections.)
  • Infections caused by rickettsia including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus group infections, Q fever, rickettsialpox.
  • Psittacosis of ornithosis caused by Chlamydia psittaci.
  • Infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis such as uncomplicated urethral, endocervical, or rectal infections, inclusion conjunctivitis, trachoma and lymphogranuloma venereum.
  • Granuloma inquinale caused by Calymmatobacterium granulomatis.
  • Relapsing fever caused by Borrelia sp.
  • Bartonellosis caused by Bartonella bacilli-formis.
  • Chancroid caused by Hemophilus ducreyi.
  • Tularemia caused by Francisella tularensis.
  • Plaque caused by Yersinia pestis.
  • Cholera caused by Vibrio cholerae.
  • Brucellosis caused by Brucella species (tetracycline may be used in conjunction with an aminoglycoside).
  • Infections due to Campylobacter fetus.
  • As adjunctive therapy in intestinal amebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica.
  • Urinary tract infections caused by susceptible strains of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, etc.
  • Other infections caused by susceptible gram-negative organisms such as E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Shigella sp., Acinetobacter sp., Klebsiella sp., and Bacteroides sp.
  • In severe acne, adjunctive therapy with tetracycline may be useful.

When penicillin is contraindicated, tetracyclines are alternative drugs in the treatment of the following infections:

  • syphilis and yaws caused by Treponema pallidumand pertenue, respectively,
  • Vincent’s infection caused by Fusobacterium fusiforme,
  • infections caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae,
  • anthrax caused by Bacillus anthracis,
  • infections due to Listeria monocytogenes,
  • actinomycosis caused by Actinomyces species,
  • infections due to Clostridium species.

See all Tetracycline indications & dosage >>


Published Studies Related to Tetracycline

Efficacy comparison between povidone iodine 2.5% and tetracycline 1% in prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum. [2011.07]
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of povidone iodine solution 2.5% and tetracycline ointment 1% in prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum (ON). DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, controlled observational study. PARTICIPANTS: Three-hundred ninety-four full-term neonates... CONCLUSIONS: Povidone iodine was associated with noninfective (sterile) conjunctivitis, probably because of its toxicity to the ocular surface in neonates. Tetracycline was marginally more effective against infective ON. For these reasons, tetracycline, rather than povidone iodine, is recommended for prevention of ON. Copyright (c) 2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Helicobacter pylori eradication with a capsule containing bismuth subcitrate potassium, metronidazole, and tetracycline given with omeprazole versus clarithromycin-based triple therapy: a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial. [2011.03.12]
BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori is associated with benign and malignant diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and increasing antibiotic resistance has made alternative treatments necessary. Our aim was to assess the efficacy and safety of a new, single-capsule treatment versus the gold standard for H pylori eradication... INTERPRETATION: Quadruple therapy should be considered for first-line treatment in view of the rising prevalence of clarithromycin-resistant H pylori, especially since quadruple therapy provides superior eradication with similar safety and tolerability to standard therapy. FUNDING: Axcan Pharma Inc. Copyright (c) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Modulation of cytokine and cytokine receptor/antagonist by treatment with doxycycline and tetracycline in patients with dengue fever. [2011]
Dengue virus infection can lead to dengue fever (DF) or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)... Further analysis demonstrated that doxycycline was significantly more effective at modulating cytokine and cytokine receptor/antagonist levels than tetracycline.

Clinical, histologic, and bacteriologic findings in dairy cows with digital dermatitis (footwarts) one month after topical treatment with lincomycin hydrochloride or oxytetracycline hydrochloride. [2010.09.01]
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of lincomycin and oxytetracycline for treatment of digital dermatitis (DD) in dairy cows through gross visual examination, histologic evaluation, and bacteriologic evaluation...

In vivo effects of adjunctive tetracycline treatment on refractory corneal ulcers in dogs. [2010.08.15]
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate effect of adjunctive treatment with tetracycline analogues on time to complete corneal reepithelialization in dogs with nonhealing (ie, refractory) corneal ulcers... CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Topical tetracycline ophthalmic ointment was a safe, inexpensive, and effective adjunctive treatment for refractory corneal ulcers in dogs.

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Tetracycline

A Prospective Clinical Study Assessing the Effects of Tetracycline Antibiotic on Tear Film and Tear Lipid Composition Within a Population of Patients Diagnosed With Blepharitis and Dry Eye Disease [Terminated]
The purpose of this research project is to determine the effects of oral tetracycline such as Minocycline (Minocin) on tear film composition and tear lipid (meibomian gland secretions) characteristics in patients with chronic Blepharitis and associated dry eyes.

Tetracycline in Preventing Skin Rash in Patients Who Are Receiving Drugs Such as Gefitinib and Cetuximab for Cancer [Recruiting]
RATIONALE: Tetracycline may be effective in preventing skin rash that is caused by treatment with drugs such as gefitinib or cetuximab.

PURPOSE: This randomized clinical trial is studying tetracycline to see how well it works compared to placebo in preventing skin rash in patients who are receiving drugs such as gefitinib or cetuximab for cancer.

Tetracycline (Doxycycline) and Post Myocardial Infarction Remodeling [Recruiting]
The aim of the study is to assess the efficacy of an antibiotic treatment with tetracycline (doxycycline) in the early stage of large reperfused acute myocardial infarction (AMI), in preventing left ventricular (LV) remodeling.

Effects of Teriparatide or Denosumab on Bone in Postmenopausal Women With Osteoporosis [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to determine how teriparatide or denosumab affects the bone of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis after 3 months of treatment, as determined by a bone biopsy sample taken from the iliac crest (upper part of the pelvis).

Tetracycline as a Prophylaxis for Rash in Patients With NSCLC Receiving Treatment With BIBW 2992 [Recruiting]
1. Advanced NSCLC have a poor prognosis and the positive impact of chemotherapy is limited by the development of intrinsic and acquired resistance. 2. Over the past decade, less toxic agents such as the innovative targeted therapies, i. e. erlotinib or gefitinib, have the potential to improve the effectiveness and keep a good quality of life with a low toxicity 3. BIBW 2992, an aniline-quinazoline, is an EGFR and HER-2 irreversible inhibitor, and it has activity against erlotinib-resistant isoforms having mutations in EGFR and HER-2 4. This molecule have shown benefits as a single agent in pre-treated patients who have progressed despite platinum-based chemotherapy, with a minimal toxicity compared to chemotherapy 5. BIBW 2992 is associated with adverse effects similar to those for erlotinib and gefitinib, such as rash and diarrhea. These symptoms can reduce the quality of life in patients and lead to inconsistent EGFR inhibitor dose administration 6. There is no a standard treatment for rash, but case reports have tried to demonstrate the benefit obtained with alcohol-free emollients, sunscreen with titanium dioxide or antibiotic (topic or oral) treatment such as clindamycin or doxycycline, anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids and isotretinoin in the treatment of these cutaneous injuries. 7. In order to reduce the incidence and severity of cutaneous toxicities, we will compare the prophylactic antibiotic treatment using tetracycline and general dermatological recommendations versus using only dermatological recommendations, in patients initiating the treatment with BIBW 2992

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Reports of Suspected Tetracycline Side Effects

Drug Hypersensitivity (4)Hepatotoxicity (2)Liver Function Test Abnormal (2)Skin Lesion (2)Hypocalcaemia (2)Blood Cholesterol Increased (2)Drug Resistance (2)Rash (2)Cushing's Syndrome (2)Periorbital Oedema (2)more >>


Based on a total of 12 ratings/reviews, Tetracycline has an overall score of 5.67. The effectiveness score is 6.50 and the side effect score is 7.17. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst. Below are selected reviews: the highest, the median and the lowest rated.

Tetracycline review by 42 year old male patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Razor Bumps
Dosage & duration:   Once per day, rub onto the skin (dosage frequency: once per day) for the period of 9 months
Other conditions:   None
Other drugs taken:   None
Reported Results
Benefits:   The product took great care of my razor bumps. If I applied it at night, I was clear by the morning. I only stopped taking it as the condition itself lessened.
Side effects:   None
Comments:   I would apply it to my skin, after washing, either at night (best time), or in the morning. I would also use a good spf to protect my skin from sun in the day


Tetracycline review by 42 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Moderately Effective
Side effects:   Mild Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   skin acne
Dosage & duration:   500mg taken 2 tablets per day for the period of 2 years
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   none
Reported Results
Benefits:   some clearing of acne but not completely. re-occurrence still happened. Scarring was still there. Overall, did not feel that effectiveness was best. Possibly a more natural cure would have been better.
Side effects:   yellowing of teeth. some nausea. doctor warned of side effects and medication was still taken.
Comments:   taking tablets but also doing warm compresses on affected areas of skin. also went for extraction treatment. It is possible that the extractions were not done properly so that is why the scarring remained.


Tetracycline review by 55 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Marginally Effective
Side effects:   Extremely Severe Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   ulcer
Dosage & duration:   1 every six hours (dosage frequency: once) for the period of 2 days
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   metronidazole
Reported Results
Benefits:   cant say because I had to stop taking it after just 2 days due to severe after effects
Side effects:   excrutiaing stomach/intestinal pain
Comments:   The drug was prescribed for treating H-pylori infection but it caused ore severe pain than hte ailment itself. It was too strong a drug for me and I had to be switced erothromycin and amoxcillin after only 2 days of tetracycline combo. It also made me dizzy.

See all Tetracycline reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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