Compare doxycycline vs. Tetracycline

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Vibramycin (doxycycline)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Vibramycin (doxycycline) is good for treating many bacterial infections, but can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and make you more likely to get a sunburn or rash.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 112 reviewsfordoxycycline
Kills bacteria and treats acne.

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

3.3/ 5 average rating with 153 reviewsforTetracycline
Upsides
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) is a good alternative for some types of bacterial infections for people who are allergic to penicillin.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available as a liquid for those who have trouble swallowing.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) is safe for people age 65 or older and those who have kidney problems.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) can make some birth control less effective, so you may have to use barrier methods (like condoms) while on it.
  • Vitamins, iron supplements, or antacids can't be taken at the same time as Vibramycin (doxycycline).
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) can cause severe diarrhea that is usually watery and bloody, as late as up to 2 months after finishing the medicine.
  • 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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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
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Reviews
112 reviews so far
49%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?

Leave a review
153 reviews so far
45%
saidit'sworth it
29%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Acnecycline (Tetracycline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Vibramycin (doxycycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Acnecycline (Tetracycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Color changes in teeth of young children and unborn babies
    • Age 8 or younger
    • Women in their last half of pregnancy
    • Infants
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Using Vibramycin (doxycycline) for a long period of time
  • Sunburn or rash
    • Being in the sun for a long period of time
    • Using tanning salons
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Women who can potentially or want to become pregnant
    • Pregnant women
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Changes in teeth
    • Pregnancy
    • Age younger than 8 years
  • Reduced effectiveness of birth control pills
  • Decreased kidney function and kidney injury
    • Kidney disease
    • Taking Acnecycline (Tetracycline) past the expiration date
  • Sunburn
    • Exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Increased pressure in the brain
    • Taking with Acnecycline (Tetracycline) with other medicines that can cause this effect (e.g. Accutane)
  • Liver injury
    • Kidney disease
    • Large doses of Acnecycline (Tetracycline)
  • Development of more serious infections
    • Long-term use of Acnecycline (Tetracycline)
See more detailed risks and warnings