Tetracycline (Achromycin®, Sumycin®) is an antibiotic used to treat various infections and also to control acne. It is available as a tablet, capsule, ointment for the skin, and drop for the eyes.

  • Do not stop taking this medicine until the full amount is taken, even if the infection seems to be gone. Stopping the medication too soon may allow the bacteria to grow and the infection to return.
  • If your child is less than 8 years old, and has been prescribed this medication, be sure to talk to your child's physician about possible permanent side effects to your child's teeth that may occur when taking this medication.
  • Give tetracycline capsules/tablets by mouth with a full glass of water to help keep them from upsetting the stomach. This medication works best on an empty stomach 1 hour before, or 2 hours after, meals.
  • If tetracycline does upset your child's stomach, you may give it with a snack, but not with dairy foods or milk products.
  • When tetracycline is mixed with certain types of foods and other medications, it may not be absorbed properly into your child's body, and may not work as well as it should. Because of this, do not give this medicine within 2 to 3 hours of any dairy foods (such as milk, formula, cheese, pudding, or yogurt), iron products (sometimes found in multi-vitamins), or antacids (medicines used to treat sour stomach or indigestion).
  • Birth control pills may not work properly when taking this medication by mouth or through an injection. A different or additional means of birth control should be used while taking tetracycline.
  • Tetracycline should not be used during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.
  • Do not take medication past the expiration date on the prescription bottle / container. Taking outdated tetracycline can result in serious illness.
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Avoid direct sunlight because this medication can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. To help prevent sunburn, have your child wear protective clothing and use sunscreen when going outdoors. Continue to have your child do this for several days after they stop taking this medication.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children
  • If too much medication is taken by accident, call the Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC) at 513-636-5111, or 1-800-222-1222 or call your child's doctor right away.

For any medication information related to your child's dosing schedule and / or missed doses, contact the healthcare provider who prescribed the medication.

Contact your child's doctor if symptoms persist or become bothersome:

  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Problems breathing
  • Persistent diarrhea

Last Updated 12/2013