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We deliver medications between Monday and Saturday. You can upgrade to Saturday delivery on Friday.

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About Product
Mohamed Imran Lakhi
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator Updated on: 29/10/2021 Next review: 29/04/2022

What is Oxytetracycline used for?

Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic from the tetracycline class. It 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.

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

How does Oxytetracycline work on acne?

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

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

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.

How long does Oxytetracycline take to work on acne?

You will not notice an immediate change after taking Oxytetracycline. It may take several weeks for Oxytetracycline to start working, so you should continue taking it for as long as prescribed.

It takes up to 6 months for Oxytetracycline to treat 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.

What causes acne?

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

  • Medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Genetics
  • Some cosmetics
  • Smoking

In many cases, acne is influenced by changes in hormone levels of testosterone and progesterone in men and women. During puberty, fluctuations in these hormones can also cause acne.

But acne can last into your 20s. According to the NHS, approximately 3% of people over the age of 35 in the UK has 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.

How acne develops under the skin

While stringent cosmetic testing has greatly reduced the risk, acne caused by cosmetics like make-up and skin creams can still 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 or 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 before or after taking the Oxytetracycline dose.

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. It is dangerous to double dose without the doctor’s consent.

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 the doctors know what you took.

Oxytetracycline side effects and cautions

As with all medications, there are certain precautions and warnings associated with Oxytetracycline. It is important to understand the advice. You should also familiarise yourself with the safety information outlined in the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

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

Who should not take Oxytetracycline?

You should not take Oxytetracycline 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
  • Have Myasthenia gravis – characterised by slurred speech, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing and chewing

You should also 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 experience them. Being aware of the risks associated with your treatment is important to your care.

The following mild side effects can occur when taking Oxytetracycline:

  • 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.

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 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 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 Oxytetracycline while pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you become pregnant while taking Oxytetracycline, inform your doctor straight away.

Other safety information

Always read the patient information leaflet before you start taking Oxytetracycline.

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 them safely on your behalf.

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

Frequently asked questions

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 them.

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, the side effects of taking Oxytetracycline.

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 the effectiveness of your contraceptive pill. If you are unsure about any of the side effects associated with Oxytetracycline, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

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 product is safe to use alongside Oxytetracycline, speak to your doctor or ask your pharmacist.

How can I buy Oxytetracycline online?

Our registered Doctors can provide a prescription for Oxytetracycline after reviewing your medical form. If approved before 3 pm, your medication could be with you the 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 Oxytetracycline used for?

How does Oxytetracycline work for acne?

What causes acne?

How do I take Oxytetracycline?

Oxytetracycline side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions

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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