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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 24/06/2020 Next review: 24/12/2020

What is Lymecycline used for?

Lymecycline is a long-acting acne treatment belonging to the tetracycline class of antibiotics. It is also available under the brand Tetralysal.

While Lymecycline has been used to treat many kinds of infections, Lymecycline is usually used to treat acne which hasn't responded to other treatments.

It works by inhibiting the growth of a bacterium which contributes to acne.

It is recommended to use a topical treatment when taking an oral antibiotic for the treatment of acne. With Prescription Doctor, we offer a combined pack of Epiduo gel and Lymecycline capsules to treat severe acne. Just start your consultation today.

What causes acne?

Acne can be caused by a range of factors - some of these may be easier to manage than others. It's important to speak to your doctor to determine the cause of your acne and seek the most suitable treatment for you.

In many cases, acne is influenced by hormones such as testosterone and progesterone. During puberty, fluctuations in these hormones cause acne.

Some women may find that they experience acne during the second half of their menstrual cycle or during the first months of pregnancy, when their progesterone levels are high.

Other causes of acne include:

  • Medications
  • Some cosmetics
  • Smoking

There is currently no strong evidence to prove that diet, poor hygiene or sexual activity influence acne.

Acne starts to develop when a pore becomes clogged. This blockage prevents sebum from escaping.

Sebum is an oily substance which forms a protective barrier on the skin's surface. It is secreted from sebaceous glands, which lie just below the surface of the skin.

If a pore becomes blocked, the sebum has nowhere to go and so it builds up below the epidermis.

Bacteria, called propionibacterium acnes, feed on this build up of sebum and thrive. These bacteria excrete chemicals which irritate the surrounding tissues and cause inflammation.

Combined with the surplus of sebum, the inflammation causes red, swollen bumps to form on the skin. These can be painful, itchy or dry.

How acne develops under the skin

In most cases, these spots are small and go away on their own within a week or so. But for some people, acne can be a severe and debilitating condition which affects them both physically and mentally.

Moderate to severe acne is often characterised by a large amount of blackheads, whiteheads, nodules and cysts. It's often diagnosed based on the clinical image (how the condition looks) by a doctor.

It's important to speak to your doctor about your condition, especially if it is causing you distress. Your doctor will be able to discuss possible treatment options with you. This may include over-the-counter or prescription strength topical treatments, such as creams or gels, oral contraceptives (for women) or oral antibiotics.

How does Lymecycline work for acne?

Lymecycline kills bacteria associated with acne called propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

P. Acnes feed on sebum beneath the skin and excrete chemicals which irritate the skin and cause inflammation. When a pore becomes clogged, sebum builds up beneath the surface of the skin. The bacteria then thrive on this abundant resource.

As they multiply, more of the irritating chemicals are produced, resulting in spots.

Lymecycline kills the bacteria, reducing their population. This give the body's immune system a better chance at healing the acne over time.

How long will it take for Lymecycline to work?

In the treatment of acne, it may take up to 8 weeks for the effects of the treatment to become noticeable. You may notice a difference within the first week of taking Lymecycline, however it all depends on the individual. On average, patients see optimal results after 8 weeks.

When taking antibiotics, it’s important to complete the course of the prescribed treatment, even if the symptoms subside or you feel better. Stopping the treatment of antibiotics early can cause the bacterial infection to return or may affect future antibiotic treatments.

If you do not notice an improvement in your condition after 8 weeks, speak to your doctor. They may change your dosage or offer an alternative treatment entirely.

How to use Lymecycline

Lymecycline is taken once a day with a glass of water. You should take Lymecycline at the same time each day, ideally in the morning.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose of Lymecycline?

If you miss a dose of Lymecycline, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take more of the medicine to make up for missed doses.

What should I do if I accidentally take too much?

If you accidentally take too much Lymecycline, speak to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Lymecycline side effects and cautions

Before taking any medication, it's important to familiarise yourself with the safety information outlined in the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine. This leaflet contains important information on how to take and store your medicine, as well as detailed lists of known side effects, ingredients and contraindications. Always retain the leaflet for future reference.

You can view the patient information for Tetralysal (lymecycline) online here.

Who should not take Lymecycline?

Do not take Lymecycline if you:

  • Are under 12 years old
  • Have ever had kidney disease
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are allergic to tetracyclines or any of the ingredients of Lymecycline

If you have ever had kidney disease, do not take Lymecycline.

All medications carry the risk of side effects. Educating yourself on the possible side effects your medication poses is important. Not everyone experiences these side effects.

Common side effects (affecting less than 1 in 10 patients) of Lymecycline can include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Lymecycline, including a complete list of side effects, can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, report them to your doctor.


Do not take Tetralysal or lymecycline if you are allergic to lymecycline or any of the other ingredients listed within the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking the medicine and seek emergency medical attention by going straight to your nearest accident and emergency department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctors know exactly what you have taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightening
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not take Lymecycline if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, speak to your doctor about alternative treatments which are safer for you and your baby.

If you become pregnant during your course of treatment, inform your doctor straight away. They will discuss with you alternative treatments for acne.

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy Lymecycline online from Prescription Doctor.

Please inform our doctor of all the medication you are currently taking, including those prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter, as well as health and herbal supplements.

Do not take Lymecycline past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the month.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expired medication to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of it safely on your behalf.

Always store medicine out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Never share your medicine with anybody else, even if they are experience the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.

Tips for managing acne

Regardless of whether you are taking medicine to treat your acne, there are a number of changes you can make to your lifestyle which may improve your acne or make your condition more manageable.

Firstly, it is very important not to pick, squeeze or scratch your acne spots. Doing so can cause the skin to break and create an open wound, which is susceptible to infection. Moreover, picking or scratching your spots can increase your risk of scarring when they heal.

If a spot starts to bleed, take a clean tissue and apply pressure to the spot until the bleeding stops. Use water to clean around the area afterwards.

Shaving can pose a significant challenge, especially for men with facial acne. You may find that using an electric razor causes less irritation than a conventional razor. You may also find switching your shaving cream to one for sensitive skin to be less irritating. Switching from an alcohol based aftershave to a witch hazel based aftershave may also be helpful.

It may be useful to switch to skincare products designed for sensitive skin while you have acne. Speak to a pharmacist about alternative skincare products such as moisturisers, soaps, perfumes and deodorants. You can also look in the toiletries section of a supermarket for suitable products - they are usually marked as "non-comedogenic" or "for sensitive skin".

After exercising, remember to shower as soon as you can afterwards. Sweat can irritate acne, making it sore and itchy.

Avoid washing your face more than twice a day. Contrary to popular belief, spots can be caused by aggressive cleaning of your skin. Try not to use abrasive materials on your skin, such as brushes, loofahs or sponges. Instead, use a soft wash cloth dowsed in warm water and dab it on your skin. When drying, don't scrub your skin with a towel - simply pat yourself dry. This will help to reduce irritation and discomfort.

Make-up can be used to cover up acne blemishes on your face, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. However, you should take caution in the make-up you choose. Use water-based make-up and remember to remove your make-up before going to bed. Avoid wearing excessive make-up, especially whilst acne is present.

Keeping your hair out of your face can also be helpful. The grease in your hair is sebum - the oily substance which bacteria thrive on. Keeping your hair from your face reduces the amount of sebum on your face, which in-turn prevents bacteria from building up and feeding on the sebum.

If you are unsure about how else you can manage your condition, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice.

Frequently asked questions

Can I drink alcohol while taking Lymecycline?

Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol in moderation while taking Lymecycline. Avoid drinking more than the recommended 14 units of alcohol per week. Drinking high quantities of alcohol may increase your risk or exacerbate side effects such as dizziness and nausea.

Can I buy Lymecycline over the counter?

No, you cannot buy Lymecycline over the counter. Lymecycline is only available on prescription. With Prescription Doctor, you can buy Lymecycline online following an online consultation with our doctor. If our doctor deems the treatment suitable for you, they can issue a prescription for Lymecycline, which our UK based pharmacy can fulfil.

Can Lymecycline affect birth control pills?

There is little to no evidence to suggest that Lymecycline interacts with oral contraceptives. However, if you experience vomiting or diarrhoea while taking Lymecycline, your hormonal contraceptive may become less effective.

Will Lymecycline affect any other medicine I take?

This treatment may also interact with oral contraceptives, rendering them ineffective. You should use an alternative form of contraception, such as condoms, during your course of treatment.

Is Lymecycline the same as Tetralysol?

Tetralysol is a treatment for acne which contains 408 mg of Lymecycline.

Both medicines contain the same active ingredient.

Does Tetralysal (lymecycline) cause weight gain?

Weight gain has not been reported as a side effect of Lymecycline. You should always report side effects to your doctor.

Will Lymecycline affect my contraceptive pill?

Lymecycline is not known to interact with contraceptive pills. If you experience vomiting or diarrhoea for 24 hours after taking your contraceptive pill, as a side effect of lymecycline, the contraceptive effect may be reduced. Further information on what to do in this situation can be found within the patient information leaflet for your contraceptive pill. You can also seek advice from your doctor or a pharmacist if you are unsure.

Does Lymecycline affect fertility?

Lymecycline does not impact fertility in men or women. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist before taking Lymecycline.

Does Lymecycline cause thrush?

Antibiotics, such as Lymecycline, can cause thrush in some people who take them.

If you experience the signs of oral or vaginal thrush during your course of Lymecycline, speak to your doctor or ask a pharmacist for advice.

Does Lymecycline stain teeth?

Lymecycline may stain developing teeth. For this reason, it is not recommended for children under 12 years old, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are concerned about any side effect associated with Lymecycline, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Table of contents

What is Lymecycline used for?

What causes acne?

How does Lymecycline work for acne?

How to use Lymecycline

Lymecycline side effects and cautions

Tips for managing acne

Frequently asked questions

Additional resources

10 foods to avoid if you want clear skin

How to use tea tree oil for acne

What causes 'bacne' and how is it treated?

Natural ways to control your acne

Control your hormones; control your acne


NHS, 2018. Lymecycline.

British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), 2020. Acne.

NHS, 2019. Acne: Overview, causes, diagnosis, treatment, complications.

Galderma, 2020. Tetralysal 300mg Hard Capsules: Summary of Product Characteristics

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Lymecycline
  • Active Ingredient(s): Lymecycline
  • Presentation: Capsules
  • Available Quantity: 408 mg
  • Exemption: Prescription Only Medicine
  • Application: Men and women over 18 with acne
  • Dosage: Take one tablet per day
  • Description: Antibiotic treatment for acne
  • Drug Class: Antibiotic
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • When Pregnant: Tell our prescriber if you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant
  • When Breastfeeding: Tell our prescriber if you are breastfeeding

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