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Last Updated on March 16, 2024

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The active ingredient Tetracycline is the prototype of the antibiotic group of Tetracyclines. Tetracyclines are broad spectrum antibiotics, that act against a variety of bacteria. They are therefore often used when the causative agent of infection is not known exactly (yet). Here you can read everything of interest to Tetracycline: action, application and side effects

How Tetracycline works

Tetracyclines inhibit many bacteria the production of proteins (proteins) which require the seeds for their metabolism and their structure (cell membrane). But existing bacterial enzymes remain intact. Thus Tetracycline only inhibits the growth of bacteria, but does not kill them off – that the antibiotic has only a bacteriostatic activity, but no bactericidal

Da Tetracycline has long been used against many bacterial infections, many bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotic in the meantime. Especially by the misapplication – as too short intake, taking an unnecessary or too frequent intake – you wear specifically to the fact that the resistant bacteria survive and spread. In this case, the bacteria can obtain their resistance in several ways, for example by the selective pumping of the antibiotic from the cell, by proteins that the ribosomes – the education center of the enzymes in the bacterial cells – protect or by a change of ribosome structure, thereby Tetracycline no longer bind can.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of Tetracycline

After taking Tetracycline is absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. The highest blood levels are measured after two to four hours. The antibiotic achieved via the blood well most tissues of the body. After eight or nine hours, the Tetracycline blood levels has been halved. The antibiotic is excreted through the liver with the bile into the intestine, thereby partly resumed through the intestinal mucosa (enterohepatic circulation). It is degraded to about half in the liver; the other half leaves the body unchanged.

When is Tetracycline used?

Tetracycline is used to treat bacterial infections with Tetracycline-sensitive bacteria, especially with respiratory, urinary, vaginal and gastrointestinal infections. In addition, it can be applied successfully in case of acne and skin diseases.

How Tetracycline is used

The active ingredient Tetracycline is taken as a tablet or capsule. The duration of treatment and the dose depend on the type of infection. Typically 250 to 500 milligrams of Tetracycline sober four times a day – taken – ie one hour before or two hours after eating. The time interval of about six hours between doses should be respected, so that the blood levels are always about the same. The capsules should be taken in an upright position with a glass of water, because they can damage the esophageal mucosa when the capsule dissolves already in the throat. Although the disease symptoms of the antibiotic therapy usually improve rapidly, taking must necessarily over the entire prescribed period done, because otherwise can easily make resistant pathogens.

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What are the side effects of Tetracycline?

Since the antibiotic Tetracycline even against the natural intestinal bacteria acts occur in treated very common digestive problems, nausea, vomiting and on. Also, with more than one out of ten patients to stomach irritation, inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat as well as for vaginal application to inflammation of the vaginal mucosa and fungal infections.

With less than one percent of patients, adverse drug reactions, such as changes in blood count, severe skin reactions and allergic reactions (rash,) show. In these cases, the antibiotic should be stopped immediately and a doctor will be informed.

What should I watch for while taking Tetracycline?

The active ingredient Tetracycline should be taken at a distance to eat because food, especially polyvalent electrolytes (such as magnesium, calcium, aluminum, iron, zinc) form with the antibiotic sparingly soluble complexes that can no longer be absorbed by the intestine. It should only be taken at a distance of two to three hours for antibiotic especially milk, cheese and other dairy products, zinc and iron tablets and antacids (for heartburn).

In type 2 diabetic patients taking Tetracycline to an increased blood glucose lowering by sulfonylureas (glyburide, Glimepiride, tolbutamide) may result. If concomitant use is necessary, the blood sugar should be closely checked.

Also anticoagulant coumarin-type (phenprocoumon, warfarin) may act reinforced by Tetracycline, which is why patients with coagulation disorders should check their coagulation values ​​closely.

The side effects of Methotrexate therapy in cancer or chronic inflammatory joint diseases may be enhanced by the combination with Tetracycline.

The antibiotic Tetracycline may interfere with the contraceptive effect of the pill in rare cases. In order to ensure a safe birth control, women should therefore also apply non-hormonal contraceptive measures such as condoms throughout the entire menstrual cycle.

Tetracycline absorbs UV light. Therefore Treated respond for the duration of the treatment very strongly to UV light: Due to direct sunlight or a visit to the solarium may similarly get a sunburn to severe skin irritation

During pregnancy and lactation the drug should not be used because it can cause severe developmental disorders, particularly of bones and teeth, passes through the placenta and breast milk to the child and here. Also during pregnancy by taking antibiotics, the liver of the mother are harmed.

Children from eight years, adolescents and adults may be treated with Tetracycline in a modified dosage. In patients with hepatic or renal impairment may Tetracycline not be applied.

How to get Tetracycline

Antibiotics are only available on prescription in any dosage and package size, to ensure proper handling of it.

Since when Tetracycline is known?

The antibiotic Tetracycline in 1945 in the US by scientists at the pharmaceutical company Lederle Laboratories (part of the American Cyanamid Company, now Pfizer) discovered and investigated. Just three years later it was applied in humans. To date, numerous derivatives of Tetracycline have been developed which have improved properties. On the German pharmaceutical market there are numerous generics with the active ingredient Tetracycline ; also drug formulation, such as creams are sometimes prescribed.

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