Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Acnecycline

(Tetracycline)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
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Kills bacteria and treats acne.

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Our bottom line

Acnecycline (Tetracycline) treats many different types of infections and is cheap, but dosing and drug interactions may be somewhat of a hassle.

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Upsides

  • Effectively treats a wide range of conditions and is used for many different types of infections.
  • Effective for acne.
  • Cheap.
  • Good choice for people on kidney dialysis who need an antibiotic. Tetracycline isn't removed by dialysis, so the dose doesn't need to be changed.
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Downsides

  • For most infections you'll need to take it 4 times a day (or every 6 hours).
  • It needs to be spaced out from food, milk, vitamins, and some medications.
  • Can cause tongue darkening, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Tetracycline makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and ultraviolet light. Wear sunblock and protective clothing, and don't go tanning.
  • Interacts with birth control and makes it less effective. Use a backup form of birth control if you don't want to get pregnant.
  • Not a good choice for children ages 8 and under. Tetracycline can cause permanent staining of teeth in babies and young children.
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Side effect rates for Acnecycline (Tetracycline)

Risks and Warnings for Acnecycline (Tetracycline)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Pregnancy
    • Age younger than 8 years

    Acnecycline (Tetracycline) and similar medicines can affect the growth and development of teeth in the fetus, infant and in children younger than 8 years old. Avoid using if you're pregnant, breast-feeding, or in children less than 8 years of age and ask your doctor about other effective medicine choices.

Common concerns from people taking Acnecycline (Tetracycline)

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Pregnancy
Interactions
  • Interacts with birth control and makes it less effective. Use a backup form of birth control if you don't want to get pregnant.
Food
  • Take your dose at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals, milk, or multivitamins with minerals.
  • Take it when you get up, so it waits an hour before breakfast.
Kidneys and liver
  • Good choice for people on kidney dialysis who need an antibiotic. Tetracycline isn't removed by dialysis, so the dose doesn't need to be changed.
  • Acnecycline (Tetracycline) can lower your kidney function causing buildup of substances that should be removed from the body. There's a higher risk if you have current problems with your kidneys. It's also important that you don't take Acnecycline (Tetracycline) past the expiration date on your prescription label. This was more of a problem with older forms of the medicine, which could change and damage your kidneys.
  • Liver injury can happen rarely with Acnecycline (Tetracycline). There's a higher risk if you have kidney disease. Your doctor should check your liver function before starting you on Acnecycline (Tetracycline).