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Terms Of Use


Brand Name(s) : Oxymycin, Trimovate (with clobetasone and nystatin)
Side Effects


Oxytetracycline should be used with caution in: the elderly, patients with kidney or liver problems, or myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disease).

It should not be used in: children under 12 years of age, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding, those with severe kidney or liver problems, systemic lupus erythematosus (a long-term allergic condition that causes joint pain, skin rashes or fever), or those with a blood disorder called acute porphyria.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.


Keep dry and store below 25°C.


What is it used for?

  • Oxytetracycline is used to treat a number of problems.
  • It is a tetracycline antibacterial drug, sometimes known as an antibiotic.
  • It is used to treat infections caused by bacteria in many different parts of the body.
  • In general this drug is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections (it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means it is effective against a wide range of bacteria).
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include the treatment, eradication and resolution of bacterial infections, allowing recovery.

Listed below are the typical uses of oxytetracycline.

  • Treatment of bacterial infections of the lungs, urinary system, and eyes
  • Treatment of skin infections such as acne
  • Treatment of a range of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Treating infections caused by Rickettsiae micro-organisms transmitted by lice, fleas, ticks and mites
  • Treating cholera (disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae in infected drinking water, causing severe diarrhoea and other serious symptoms)
  • Treating leptospirosis (caused by the bacterial infections of water, and can result in very serious symptoms such as liver failure and meningitis [inflammation of the membrane around the brain]), gas gangrene (a potentially deadly infection of wounds by bacteria that are normally found in soil) and tetanus (a bacterial infection, normally via a wound, also called lockjaw).

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.


How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, usually every 6 hours. Take the tablets one hour before or two hours after meals, followed by a glass of water. Tablets should always be taken when standing up or sitting down, and not just before going to bed.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Do not take the tablets at the same time as milk, indigestion remedies or medicines containing iron or zinc. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.


If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: severe, persistent or bloody diarrhoea (which may be associated with stomach pain or fever); redness of the skin or sensitivity to sunlight; severe pain when swallowing; or persistent or severe headache, particularly with eyesight disturbances.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking oxytetracycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antibiotics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of: severe kidney or liver problems, systemic lupus erythematosus (a long-term allergic condition that causes joint pain, skin rashes or fever), or a blood disorder called acute porphyria.

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any kidney or liver problems, or myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disease).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • It is not known whether drinking alcohol affects this drug's action.

The elderly: oxytetracycline should be used with caution in the elderly as this group may be more likely to have kidney problems than younger patients, leading to higher levels of this drug in the body in elderly patients.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


Oxytetracycline is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant. It may harm the baby if taken during pregnancy.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Oxytetracycline is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with oxytetracycline:

  • Retinoids, used to treat acne, psoriasis and leukaemia e.g. isotretinoin, tretinoin or acitretin
  • Blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin or phenindione
  • Antacids, used in indigestion remedies
  • Ulcer-healing medicines, such as sucralfate
  • Diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide
  • Supplements containing calcium, iron, aluminium, magnesium or zinc
  • Kaolin-pectin and bismuth subsalicylate, used to treat diarrhoea
  • Quinapril, used to lower blood pressure
  • Medicines used in the treatment of diabetes

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


The effects of overdose with oxytetracycline are not known.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of oxytetracycline or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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