Oxytetracycline is an antibacterial medication used to treat acne. Acne is where the face becomes oily and develops spots. Oxytetracycline works by killing the bacteria present on the face that are responsible for acne.

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Oxytetracycline is an antibacterial medication used to treat acne. Acne is where the face becomes oily and develops spots. Oxytetracycline works by killing the bacteria present on the face that are responsible for acne.

What is Oxytetracycline?

Oxytetracycline is an oral antibiotic medication used to treat acne. Acne is a condition where the skin on the face becomes oily or develops spots. It can be a source of embarrassment or low self-esteem in some patients. Oxytetracycline can help reduce the appearance of spots or blackheads.

Oxytetracycline is a prescription only medication. You must have a valid prescription in order to buy it. However, it is possible for us to prescribe it to you following a brief online consultation. Contact us to find out more.

Oxytetracycline can also be used to treat other bacterial infections. However, we only prescribe it to treat acne, and we cannot prescribe it for any other purpose.

For more information on Oxytetracycline, consult the patient information leaflet.

How it works

Topical acne is caused by bacteria. This bacteria feeds on sebum produced by the skin. The waste products and fatty acids produced by this bacteria irritate the skin, and causes inflammation and spots. Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic, and will kill this bacteria, controlling the irritation of the skin and allowing it to heal.

Oxytetracycline comes as tablets that you swallow. It’s possible to see an improvement in your acne after just a few weeks of using Oxytetracycline. However, most patients will need to use it for several months before they notice any measurable improvement in their acne.

Before you take it

You should not take Oxytetracycline if you are allergic to any of the ingredients contained within the medication. A full list of ingredients is available in the patient information leaflet. Speak with your doctor, who will be able to provide an alternative treatment for your condition. You should be especially careful if you have previously experienced an allergic reaction to any other tetracycline antibiotic.

If you are pregnant, it is very important that you do not take this medication. Oxytetracycline is passed into the bloodstream and can be deposited in the baby’s growing bones, affecting development of the skeleton and potentially causing staining of the teeth.

If you are breastfeeding, do not use Oxytetracycline. This is because it may cause staining of a nursing infant’s teeth, even if they have not yet erupted.

If you have reduced liver or kidney function, you should talk to your doctor before you take Oxytetracycline.

If you have myasthenia gravis or systemic lupus erythematosus, you should not take Oxytetracycline. Speak to your doctor and ask them to recommend an alternative medication to treat your acne.

You should avoid sunlamps and artificial sunbeds while taking Oxytetracycline, as Oxytetracycline can make your skin more sensitive to light. You should also take care to avoid direct sunlight, and should wear appropriate protective clothing when you are unable to avoid sunlight.

Oxytetracycline should not affect hormonal contraception such as contraceptive pills, implants or injections.

Oxytetracycline should not make you drowsy or affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. However, as with all medication, you should exercise caution, and only drive or do anything else that requires acute concentration when you are fully aware of how this medication affects you.

Oxytetracycline may interact with some other medications. Tell your doctor before taking Oxytetracycline if you are also taking any of the following:

  • Amoxicillin or penicillin used to treat infections
  • Anticoagulants such as Warfarin
  • Retinoids to treat acne, such as isotretinoin and tretinoin
  • Diuretics or water tablets
  • Antacids or other medications to treat indigestion (you must leave at least two hours between taking these and Oxytetracycline, as they can interact)

This is not an exhaustive list of warnings or interactions. For a full list, you must consult the patient information leaflet.

Dosage Instructions

You should always take Oxytetracycline exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed. Never exceed the stated dose. If you are in any way unsure of how to take Oxytetracycline, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for clarification.

A typical dose to treat acne is two 250mg Oxytetracycline tablets, taken twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. These tablets are for oral administration, and must be taken with water on an empty stomach. Do not take the tablets with milk or dairy - this may make Oxytetracycline less effective.

It is very important that you take the full course of Oxytetracycline prescribed to you. If you stop early, this increases the likelihood that your acne will return and may be harder to treat. Your doctor will tell you how long you need to take Oxytetracycline for.

Store Oxytetracycline in a cool, dry place, free from heat and moisture. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Common Side Effects of Oxytetracycline

Like all medication, Oxytetracycline may cause unwanted side effects. These are usually mild to moderate in nature and should go away on their own as your body becomes used to the medication. However, if they persist, or they concern you, you may want to visit your doctor for advice. Side effects may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomachache or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

Oxytetracycline can also cause more severe side effects. These are rare, but if you experience them, you should go to your doctor, as Oxytetracycline may be unsuitable for you. Side effects may include:

  • Severe upper abdominal pain, which can be a symptom of pancreatitis
  • Overgrowth of the yeast Candida, which may cause infections such as thrush
  • Changes in liver function, which can cause tiredness or yellowing of the skin
  • Skin reactions and sensitivity to sunlight
  • Inflammation of the bowel, which can cause persistent diarrhoea

It’s also possible for Oxytetracycline to cause a severe allergic reaction. This is extremely rare, but an allergic reaction is an emergency. If you believe you are experiencing one, you must immediately seek medical advice. Symptoms can include:

  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, mouth or face
  • Hives or nettle rash
  • Skin rash, including blistering, swelling, peeling or redness
  • Trouble breathing or speaking
  • Wheezing

This is not a complete list of side effects. For an exhaustive list, you must consult the patient information leaflet or ask your doctor for advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Oxytetracycline suitable for children?

Oxytetracycline should not be taken by children under 12 years of age. We do not prescribe any medication to anyone under the age of 18.

I’m pregnant. Can I take Oxytetracycline?

No. You must not take Oxytetracycline if you are pregnant. Oxytetracycline enters the bloodstream and can be deposited in the growing bone of an unborn baby, which can affect the growth of the skeleton and can cause staining in the teeth.

I’m breastfeeding. Can I take Oxytetracycline?

You should not take Oxytetracycline if you are breastfeeding. This is because it can pass into breast milk, and may stain the teeth of a nursing baby.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take Oxytetracycline, you should take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose, and take your next dose as normal. Never double up to make up for a missed dose.

What happens if I take too much?

An overdose of Oxytetracycline can be dangerous, and can increase the likelihood that you experience side effects. If you accidentally take too much Oxytetracycline, you should immediately go to your local hospital casualty department.

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