Oxytetracycline is mostly used to treat acne and rosacea. As an antibiotic, oxytetracycline can treat bacterial infections including pneumonia, bronchitis, mycoplasma and some types of sexually transmitted infections. It may also be given for infections caused by fleas, ticks or mites.
Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic. It works by killing bacteria to stop them from spreading and heal an infection. It is particularly effective against a type of bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes, which causes spots. Bacteria feed off oils produced by sebaceous glands, causing breakouts and inflammation. Oxytetracycline stops this from happening, eventually reducing the appearance of acne spots and redness.
Oxytetracycline takes several weeks to start working and you'll usually take it for up to three months.
Oxytetracycline can be used for all types of acne which are caused by bacteria. If you have severe acne and oxytetracycline does not work for you, then you may be referred to a dermatologist to try a different treatment.
The active ingredient in oxytetracycline is oxytetracycline dihydrate.
The inactive ingredients in oxytetracycline are lactose, pregelatinised starch, sodium lauryl sulphate, gelatin, magnesium stearate, talc, sugar, titanium dioxide, aluminium hydroxide and tartrazine (E102), shellac, beeswax and carnauba wax.
Please Note: Different brands of generic oxytetracycline may contain different inactive ingredients. Please read the patient information leaflet provided for more details.
Oxytetracycline tablets should be taken one hour before food. Swallow the whole tablet with water. If you're taking 2 tablets a day then take them at least 6 hours apart. Avoid taking oxytetracycline just before going to bed. Try to stay out of the sun while taking oxytetracycline.
You take Oxytetracycline twice a day. Each tablet contains 250 mg of oxytetracycline. You might need to take more than one tablet to treat bacterial infections. Always follow the advice given by your doctor about how much to take.
To treat acne, you normally take oxytetracycline for three months. Keep taking Oxytetracycline for the length of time your doctor has prescribed unless they tell you otherwise. This may vary depending on which condition you are being treated for.
Common side effects of oxytetracycline include:
Less common side effects of oxytetracycline include:
If you experience any of these symptoms then speak to your doctor for advice.
You should not take Oxytetracycline if:
Speak to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
One of the possible side effects of oxytetracycline is photosensitivity. This is where your skin develops an increased sensitivity to sunlight and you may develop a rash. Not everyone will experience this while taking oxytetracycline. Wearing a high SPF sunscreen, covering your skin with long clothing and avoiding being in the sun for too long can help prevent skin damage.
Drinking alcohol does not have an effect on oxytetracycline. But, if you get an upset stomach after taking oxytetracycline, drinking alcohol can make you feel worse.
Oxytetracycline should not be used during pregnancy unless your doctor recommends it.
Oxytetracycline does not interfere with the contraceptive pill so you can keep taking it as normal. However, if you experience vomiting or diarrhoea after taking oxytetracycline, then you may not be protected. If this happens, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on your particular pill.
Oxytetracycline is an effective treatment for moderate acne which has not responded to acne creams or gels alone. There are other antibiotic treatments available on prescription which are applied directly to the skin, alongside benzoyl peroxide and retinoids like adapalene. The combined contraceptive pill can be prescribed for women with hormonal acne. A doctor may prescribe isotretinoin for severe acne.
While you are taking Oxytetracycline there are several things you can do to help improve your skin. These include eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, drinking plenty of water to hydrate the skin and exercising to flush out toxins. Maintaining a good skincare routine can also help to ensure excess oil is cleansed away.
You can still wear makeup while taking oxytetracycline to improve your skin. However, avoid oil-based makeup which can clog your pores and make spots worse. Stick to a good skincare routine and always take off your makeup before going to bed.
Skin products will not interfere with oxytetracycline so you can still use them as normal. You may want to avoid products which are overly oily. Oily products may clog up your pores and slow down the effects of oxytetracycline in healing your acne. Stick to light, water-based moisturisers.
Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic which kills bacteria that cause acne. So, your acne should not come back after you stop taking oxytetracycline. If you stop taking oxytetracycline early then it may not work as effectively. There will be left over bacteria which will cause spots. This is why you should always keep taking oxytetracycline for the prescribed length of time or until your doctor tells you to stop.
Oxytetracycline should be taken on an empty stomach, ideally one hour or more before eating. Oxytetracycline tablets are not absorbed very well if you take them at the same time as food or milk. If this happens, you will have less oxytetracycline in your body to clear up your acne. So the treatment will not be as effective. You can still take oxytetracycline with water or two hours after food.
Oxytetracycline can be used to treat rosacea, a skin condition which causes facial flushing, redness and small red bumps. For rosacea, oxytetracycline will usually be prescribed for a course of 4 to 6 weeks.
Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic which is effective at treating acne and rosacea.