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Oxytetracycline

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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: 31/01/2020 Next review: 31/07/2020

What is Oxytetracycline used for?

Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic belonging to the tetracycline class and is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections including pneumonia, some sexually transmitted infections and infections which result from parasites such as ticks, fleas, lice and mites.

Oxytetracycline 250mg is also commonly used to treat acne in adults. It works by targeting bacteria responsible for causing inflammation and lesions on the face.

Like most antibiotics, it's important to take them as prescribed by your doctor. You will not notice an immediate change after taking Oxytetracycline. It may take several weeks for Oxytetracycline to take affect, so you should continue taking it for as long as prescribed.

It is recommended to use a topical treatment, such as Differin or Epiduo, alongside an oral antibiotic in the treatment for acne. Speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice.

Where can I buy Oxytetracycline?

You can buy Oxytetracycline online from Prescription Doctor's reliable and trusted online pharmacy. To begin your order, simple fill out our online medical form for our doctor to review.


How does Oxytetracycline work on acne?

Oxytetracycline prevents the growth and spread of a bacterium responsible for acne called Propionebacterium acnes.

This bacteria live on the skin's surface and feed on a waxy substance secreted by sebaceous glands called sebum. After eating feeding on the sebum, the bacterium excretes fatty acids and other substances which irritate the sensitive sebaceous glands, resulting in inflammation and redness at the sight.

By killing some of the bacteria, Oxytetracycline allows the skin to heal - redness and inflammation reduces and the number of new spots which develop is reduced.

If your acne is severe, you should speak to your GP for advice. They may refer you to a dermatologist who can provide further advice on managing and treating your condition.


What causes acne?

There are a wide range of factors which can influence acne, such as:

  • Hormones - especially during periods and pregnancy in women
  • Medications
  • Smoking

Sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones, which is why it often develops during puberty. But acne can last into your 20's. According to the NHS, approximately 3% of people over the age of 35 in the UK has acne.

Acne is caused by a mixture of three things: keratin, sebum and bacteria.

Keratin is a protein found in the skin and hair. It provides the outermost protective layer and is shed regularly. Sometimes, this shed keratin enters hair follicles or pores in the skin and clogs them up.

Beneath the surface of the skin (epidermis), at the site of the hair follicle, lies the sebaceous gland. This gland secrets an oily, waxy substance which protects the skin and hair called sebum.

If a follicle becomes clogged up with keratin, the sebum has nowhere to go and so it begins to accumulate beneath the skin.

Bacteria which live on the skin feed on this surplus of sebum and excrete materials which irritate the skin and cause inflammation under the skin, resulting in the red spots associated with acne.

How acne develops under the skin

Hormones such as testosterone (in men) and progesterone (in women) can increase acne. Some women find that taking the contraceptive pill reduces the appearance of their acne.

There is insufficient evidence which links acne with a poor diet, poor skin hygiene or sexual activity. With that being said, eating a healthy diet and looking after your skin is important - regardless of whether you have acne.

If you suspect a specific medicine is causing your acne, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking a medicine your doctor has prescribed for you without first consulting your doctor.

While stringent cosmetic testing has greatly reduced the risk, acne caused by cosmetics like make-up and skin creams can occur. This can happen due to an allergy to some of the ingredients or by blocking the sebaceous glands on the skin, resulting in blackheads.


How do you take Oxytetracycline?

For the treatment of Acne, the usual dose is 1 to 2 tablets twice a day. However, the Doctor can give a more tailored treatment depending on the severity of the acne. Please follow the instructions given to you by the doctor.

You should take Oxytetracycline on an empty stomach, an hour before or two hours after food. Taking Oxytetracycline with food or drink may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

Do not take Oxytetracycline with products containing milk, antacids or aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc.

Take Antacids containing aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc at least 2 hours apart from the Oxytetracycline dose.

If you forget to take a dose, take as soon as you remember, however if it is near the time for your next dose, do not take the forgotten dose and carry on as usual. It is dangerous to double dose without the doctors consent.


Staying safe with Prescription Doctor

As with all medications there are certain precautions and warnings associated with Oxytetracycline. It is important to understand the advice.

Do not take if you:

  • Are under 12
  • Are allergic to any of the Ingredients
  • Have or had Kidney or Liver Problems
  • Have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Are Pregnant or Breast Feeding
  • Are on Retinoid or Vitamin A therapy
  • Have a condition called Porphyria
  • Myasthenia gravis – characterised by slurred speech, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing and chewing

Inform the Doctor if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Diuretics
  • Penicillin antibiotics
  • Blood Thinners (Anti – coagulants) such as warfarin
  • Insulins or sulphonylureas such as Gliclazide used for diabetes
  • Oral Contraceptives
  • Antacids
  • Kaolin-pectin and bismuth subsalicylate

It is important to always complete a course of antibiotics. Incorrect use of antibiotics can result in antimicrobial resistance. This can cause antibiotics to become ineffective when taken for future infections.

You should always take Oxytetracycline as prescribed by the doctor.


Oxytetracycline side effects

All medications carry the potential risk of side effects, though it is never guaranteed that you will exprience them. Being aware of the risks associated with your treatment is crucial to your care.

The following mild effects can occur:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sunlight – apply adequate protection (SPF 50)

Stop taking the medication and consult your doctor if you suffer from the following after taking Oxytetracycline:

  • Hypersensitivity reactions such as skin rashes, swelling of the face or tongue, chest pain and fever
  • Visual issues such as blurred or double vision, blind spots and headaches
  • Diarrhoea, fever, cramps
  • Discolouration of the skin and teeth
  • Difficulty in swallowing or swelling of the chest and throat

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Oxytetracycline can be found in the patient information leaflet which is supplied with your treatment.

Alternatively, you can view the patient information leaflet for Oxytetracycline online here.

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

Allergic reaction

Do not take Oxytetracycline if you have had an allergic reaction to a tetracycline antibiotic before.

If you experience an allergic reaction to Oxytetracycline, stop taking the medicine and seek emergency medical attention.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Dry, red, and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue and throat
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not take Oxytetracycline while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Speak to your doctor for further advice on taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy Oxytetracycline online.

Do not take Oxytetracycline past the expiry date printed on the packaging.

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

Always store Oxytetracycline out of the sight and reach from children and pets.


Tips for managing acne

While it's not always possible to prevent acne from happening, there are some things you can do to prevent your condition from getting worse.

Before using a cosmetic product, it's always a good idea to perform a spot test. Place a small amount of the product on the back of your hand and monitor it for a little while before you commit to using it on your face. If you experience an allergic reaction, speak to your doctor or ask a pharmacist for assistance.

Washing your face with a mild or moisturising soap is good for your skin, but don't overdo it. Washing your face too often can exacerbate your acne symptoms by removing important oils from your skin. Stick to once or twice a day.

After exercising, take a shower to wash off the sweat on your skin. Sweat can irritate inflamed sebaceous glands and worsen your symptoms. Pat yourself dry after a shower to prevent friction and irritation.

Wash with mild soaps and avoid using abrasive exfoliating scrubs or loofahs. Use a clean, soft wash cloth to clean your skin and avoid scrubbing your skin.

Shaving, especially for men, carries the risk of worsening your acne symptoms. Switching to an electric razor can be a good start, as it provides less irritation to the surface of your skin. You should also consider the shaving cream and after-shave you use, as these too can irritate your skin.

There are a large range of products which are available over the counter to help manage your acne symptoms. Some treatments might be more effective for you than others, so it's worth trying out a couple of different products first to see what works.

Avoid picking, squeezing and scratching your acne spots. Doing so can lead to bleeding and can increase your risk of infection. Moreover, popping your spots can cause scarring which can appear as craters, pits or bumps on the skin.

If you do pick at a spot and it starts to bleed, apply pressure to the bleed until it stops. Once the bleeding stops, clean the area with water. Avoid picking at the spot further. It may scab over or develop a yellow pus-filled head - this is part of the healing process.

A pharmacist can assist you in finding the more suitable products for you based on your skin type. They can also offer practical advice on when and how to use the product. Let your pharmacist know which products you have tried and how well they worked for you - this information can help them suggest a more suitable option for you.


Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I forget to take Oxytetracycline when I should?

If you forget to take Oxytetracycline, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the forgotten dose and take your next dose at the usual time.

Do not take more Oxytetracycline to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I take too much Oxytetracycline?

If you accidentally take too much Oxytetracycline, seek immediate emergency medical attention by contacting your doctor or going straight to the accident and emergency department of your nearest hospital.

Take the packaging with you so that doctors know what you took.

Will Oxytetracycline affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Oxytetracycline should not impact your ability to drive or operate machinery.

If you experience any side effects which might impair your concentration, such as dizziness or blurred vision, avoid such activities until you feel well enough to do so.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Oxytetracycline?

While alcohol does not directly impact the effectiveness of Oxytetracycline, alcohol consumption may increase your risk of, or worsen, side effects.

You should limit your alcohol consumption while taking Oxytetracycline.

Will Oxytetracycline affect the contraceptive pill?

Oxytetracycline does not affect oral contraceptive pills. However, if you experience vomiting or diarrhoea after taking Oxytetracycline, this may affect your contraceptive pill. If you are unsure about any of the side effects associated with Oxytetracycline, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

How long does Oxytetracycline take to work on acne?

It takes up to 6 months for Oxytetracycline to work on acne, though more complicated or severe acne may take longer. If you do not notice an improvement in your condition after 6 months, speak to your doctor.

Can I take Oxytetracycline with other acne treatments?

Oxytetracycline can be safely used alongside other acne treatments, including Epiduo and Differin. If you are unsure whether another a product is safe to use alongside Oxytetracycline, speak to your doctor or ask your pharmacist.

How to buy Oxytetracycline online?

Our registered Doctors can provide a prescription for Oxytetracycline after the review of your medical form. If approved before 3 pm, your medication could be with you the very next day. Our Service is quick, easy and safe. Our customer service team are on hand if you require any further information.


Table of contents

What is it?

What causes acne?

How do you take Oxytetracycline?

How does Oxytetracycline work on acne?

Staying safe with Prescription Doctor

Oxytetracycline side effects

Tips for managing acne

Frequently asked questions

Additional resources

Natural ways to control your acne.

Control your hormones, control your acne

How to use Tea Tree oil for acne?

What is 'bacne' and how is it treated?

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Oxytetracycline
  • Active Ingredient(s): Oxytetracycline dihydrate
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strength: 250 mg
  • Exemption: Prescription only medication
  • Application: Men and women over 18 with acne
  • Dosage: Take 2 tablets daily, 1 hour before food
  • Description: Oxytetracycline is used to treat a wide range of infections caused by bacteria
  • Drug Class: Tetracyclines
  • Alcohol Consumption: No influence
  • When Pregnant: Do not take while pregnant. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
  • When Breastfeeding: Do not take while breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
Click here to view the Oxytetracycline - Patient Information Leaflet

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