Compare Tetracycline vs. Cleocin

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

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Cleocin (clindamycin)

Prescription only
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
Treats acne.

Cleocin (clindamycin) is proven to be effective at treating acne when combined with another acne medicine and is available in a variety of formulations.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 115 reviewsforCleocin
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.
  • Available in generic.
  • Comes in different formulations (gel, solution, lotion, foam) to fit your preferences.
  • Works well for the kind of acne that causes large, red, and swollen pimples.
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.
  • Foam formulation can cause headaches.
  • You will likely have to use another acne medicine along with Cleocin (clindamycin) since it is not as effective by itself.
  • Is only preferred for mild to moderate acne. If you have severe acne your doctor will most likely prescribe an oral medication.
  • If you only have comedonal acne (small skin-colored bumps on the skin) without any red, swollen pimples, your doctor may give you an alternative medicine.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Gel
  • Foam
  • Solution
  • Lotion
Price
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Reviews
153 reviews so far
45%
saidit'sworth it
29%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Acnecycline (Tetracycline)?

Leave a review
115 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Cleocin (clindamycin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Acnecycline (Tetracycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
9possible side effects
  • Dryness
    23%
  • Oiliness/Oily skin
    18%
  • Redness
    16%
  • Burning
    11%
  • Burning/Itching
    11%
  • Peeling
    11%
  • Itching
    11%
  • Burning where applied
    6%
  • Headache
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Severe diarrhea and stomach cramps
    • Using Cleocin (clindamycin) for a long time
See more detailed risks and warnings