Tetralysal

Help treat acne with Tetralysal

Tetralysal (also known as lymecycline) is an antibiotic that helps treat acne and other bacterial infections. Swallow one capsule of Tetralysal each day to kill acne-causing bacteria.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
408mg56 capsules£28.99In Stock
408mg84 capsules£40.50In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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Information

Virginia Chachati

Reviewed by Virginia Chachati MPharm
(2013, University College London)
GPhC Registration number: 2087654

Information last reviewed 10/06/2021

About

What is Tetralysal?

Tetralysal is an antibiotic used to treat acne and other bacterial infections. It comes in a capsule that you swallow, typically once a day.

How does Tetralysal work?

Tetralysal works by targeting bacteria, preventing them from growing and multiplying. The medication is particularly effective against acne as it works against a type of bacteria called Propionebacterium acnes. This is the bacteria which causes acne, feeding on the oils which are produced by the sebaceous glands.

How long does Tetralysal take to work?

Tetralysal will start to work a week after taking it. You should notice a difference in your skin a couple of weeks after taking Tetralysal daily.

Is Tetralysal an antibiotic?

The active ingredient in Tetralysal is lymecycline, which is an antibiotic.

What causes acne?

Acne is a condition where spots, pimples and blackheads appear on your skin. You can experience acne at any age, though it often starts in childhood. When the pores in your skin become blocked with excess oil and dead skin cells, you may experience acne. There are many underlying causes of acne. These include hormonal changes, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Tetralysal is lymecycline.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Tetralysal are magnesium stearate and colloidal hydrated silica. The outer capsule is made from gelatin, titanium dioxide (E171), erythrosine (E127), quinine yellow (E104) and indigotine (E132).

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

Tetralysal contains lymecycline, which can occasionally cause allergic reactions, such as a skin rash. If you experience this or any signs of a serious allergic reaction after taking the medication get immediate medical help and speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Signs of a serious allergic reaction as the development of hives, facial or lip swelling, difficulty breathing, chest tightness or dizziness.

Dosage

The standard dose of Tetralysal to treat acne is one capsule, or 300 mg, per day. Always take Tetralysal as your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed.

How to take Tetralysal?

Tetralysal should be taken once a day in the morning. Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. You can take Tetralysal with a small amount of food to avoid feeling sick.

What should I do if I take too much Tetralysal?

If you take too much Tetralysal it is unlikely to cause you harm. Speak to your doctor or healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

What should I do if I forget a dose of Tetralysal?

If you forget to take Tetralysal, take your missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next one. Do not take two capsules at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

How long should I take Tetralysal for?

Take Tetralysal for as long as your doctor has prescribed. To treat acne, this is usually eight weeks. Always complete the treatment course, even if your acne clears up. Otherwise your acne symptoms might return.

Side Effects

Possible side effects of Tetralysal include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Headaches 
  • Hypersensitivity 
  • Blistering or peeling of the skin
  • Ulcers 
  • Blurred eyesight 
  • Feeling dizzy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Jaundice 
  • Liver inflammation 
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Itchiness 
  • Skin rash 
  • Fever
  • Altered number of blood cells 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Yeast infection 
  • Inflamed pancreas 
  • Teeth discolouration 

 Signs of an allergic reaction to Tetralysal include: 

  • Swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue 
  • Breathing difficulty 
  • Hives 
  • Significant peeling or blistering of the skin 
  • Ulcers 
  • Severe headaches 
  • Disturbed vision 

If you experience any of the symptoms above, seek immediate emergency medical attention. 

Contraindications

Do not take Tetralysal if: 

  • You are allergic to lymecycline or other types of tetracycline antibiotics 
  • You are allergic to any of the other ingredients listed
  • You have ever experienced kidney disease 
  • You are pregnant
  • You are a child under 12 years old
  • You are taking oral retinoids 

 Let your doctor know, before you take Tetralysal, if you have: 

  • Liver or kidney failure 
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

Drug Interactions

The following medicines can affect how Tetralysal works. Wait at least two hours after taking Tetralysal before using: 

  • Indigestion medicine 
  • Ulcer treatments 
  • Quinapril for high blood pressure 
  • Supplements with calcium, aluminium, magnesium, zinc or iron

 Avoid the following medicines while taking Tetralysal: 

  • Penicillin 
  • Antacids containing aluminium, calcium, magnesium or iron salts
  • Oral retinoids  
  • Methoxyflurane 

Tetralysal and pregnancy

Tetralysal is not safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, for further advice before using Tetralysal.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Tetralysal?

You can drink alcohol while taking Tetralysal.

Will Tetralysal affect my contraception?

Tetralysal will not affect the contraceptive pill or emergency contraceptives. If Tetralysal causes diarrhoea whilst you are taking contraceptive pills, speak to your doctor for advice.

Will Tetralysal affect my fertility?

Current research has shown that Tetralysal does not affect fertility in either men or women.

Will Tetralysal stain my teeth?

Tetralysal can build up in teeth and bones that are still growing, which can lead to permanent staining. This is why Tetralysal is not suitable for children under 12 years old or pregnant women. Tetralysal is unlikely to stain adult teeth.

Will Tetralysal cause thrush?

Thrush is a possible side effect while taking Tetralysal. This is because Tetralysal is a broad spectrum antibiotic, so it can kill some of the protective bacteria you normally have on your body. When this happens, an overgrowth of fungus can occur that leads to a yeast infection, commonly known as thrush.

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Tetralysal

There are alternative treatment options available for acne. You will usually start with over the counter remedies from a pharmacy. If these do not help treat your acne, you can see a doctor to get prescription only medicines. They may prescribe antibiotics, retinoids, azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide. In addition, the combined oral contraceptive pill can help manage acne in women.

Home remedies for acne

There are ways to treat acne at home to reduce inflammation and help spots to heal. Some popular substances include: 

  • Tea tree oil
  • Witch hazel
  • Manuka honey

These home remedies are likely to work well for mild acne and the occasional pimple but moderate to severe acne will need prescription medicine to treat it effectively. Avoid using toothpaste to dry out spots as this can irritate the skin.

Can Lifestyle changes help?

There are lifestyle changes you can make to help manage acne and prevent further breakouts. For example: 

  • Wash your face twice a day with non-comedogenic products
  • Avoid over cleansing as this can make your symptoms worse  
  • Use moisturiser
  • Avoid makeup which will clog up your pores 
  • Avoid touching your face or squeezing spots 
  • Shower after doing sports or working out

Q&A

Is Tetralysal available to buy over the counter?

Tetralysal is only available on prescription from a doctor and cannot be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy.

What's the difference between Tetralysal and other antibiotics?

Tetralysal is the brand name for the antibiotic lymecycline. It is designed to target bacteria which cause acne, making it more effective than other antibiotics in treating the skin condition. Other antibiotics are used to treat different types of infections.

What are the different types of acne?

There are six different types of spots associated with acne: 

  • Blackheads - these are due to trapped hair within the hair follicles
  • Whiteheads - small bumps similar to blackheads which are firm to touch and do not produce pus
  • Papules - tender, red bumps 
  • Pustules - sore, red bumps which have pus in the middle 
  • Nodules - large lumps which have built up under the surface of the skin and are uncomfortable 
  • Cysts - large round or oval shaped lumps which are filled with white or yellow pus

Severe acne usually consists of cysts and nodules. These types of spots are most likely to result in permanent scarring.

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