The broad-spectrum antibacterial agent tetracycline belongs to the group of tetracycline antibiotics. Its discovery is related to the search for alternative and safe means of treatment for tuberculosis.

In 1945, streptomycin aureofaciens was discovered, which has the ability to produce a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

The drug was sold in 1949 under the name chlortetracycline by several different pharmaceutical companies, some of which synthesize tetracycline from another type of actinomycetes, while others chemically obtain it from chlortetracycline.

Tetracycline is produced in various forms for local (cream, ointment) and oral (tablets, capsules) introduction.

Tetracycline for oral use is used in the treatment of systemic diseases. Due to the low half-life in plasma, multiple daily intake (usually every six hours) is required.

The drug refers to short-acting tetracyclines, unlike, for example, doxycycline, which has an extended effect.

It is recommended to take an antibiotic a few hours before or after a meal, as the presence of food in the stomach can reduce its absorption.

It should be borne in mind that the simultaneous consumption of dairy products and green leafy vegetables, rich in ions calcium, magnesium, aluminum and iron, can lead to the formation of insoluble chelating complexes. These complexes are not absorbed and can cause serious side effects.

Medications that affect the acidity of gastric contents, such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, etc., lead to a significant deterioration in the absorption of tetracycline. For this reason, it is recommended to take them at a fairly large interval.

Oral antibiotic shows a good distribution in bodily fluids and tissues. It achieves effective concentrations in the genitourinary system and lungs, but penetrates slightly through the blood-brain barrier and does not reach therapeutic concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid.

It easily passes through the placental barrier and is therefore not recommended for pregnant women.

Its metabolism (biotransformation) occurs in the liver and with long-term use and in high doses has hepatotoxic effect and leads to varying degrees of liver damage.

It is excreted from the body through the excretory system, which requires dose adjustment and control of serum levels in patients with impaired kidney function.

An important feature of excretion from the body is its output with breast milk. It reaches high concentrations in breast milk, which can harm the health of the newborn.

If necessary, treatment during pregnancy and breast-feeding is recommended impervious antibacterial agents such as penicillin, erythromycin, azithromycin.

Tetracycline is characterized by a bacteriostatic effect (suppresses the reproduction of microorganisms), which occurs quickly.

This effect is realized by reversible binding to the so-called subunit ribosome 30S and blocking protein synthesis in microorganisms.

The drug is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that affects a number of gram-negative and gram-positive anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, as well as some pathogens of protosotic diseases.

It is used in the treatment of the following conditions.

1. Infectious diseases:





Lyme disease;

– Spotted typhoid;



– trachoma.

2. Diseases of the genitourinary system:

– mycoplasma cervicyte, urethritis, salpingitis;

Chlamydia cervicitis;




3. Skin infections:

Pink blackheads;

– an e.n.

4. Respiratory infections:



Whooping cough.

5. In ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori:

It is used as part of a combination therapy that includes an anti-secret agent and two antibiotics: lansoprazole, tetracycline and metronidazole.

6. Alternative therapy:


– gas gangrene;


Despite the wide variety of microorganisms it affects, the use of tetracycline in modern medicine is very limited due to the development of resistance to it and the many side effects it causes. It is mainly used in the treatment of skin infections caused by antibiotic-sensitive microorganisms.

Before starting treatment with this representative of tetracyclines, a scarification test should be conducted to detect hypersensitivity.

In the case of a positive result, a change in the therapeutic approach and the choice of an alternative drug is required.

The use of tetracycline is associated with the development of varying degrees of severity of side effects. Gastrointestinal disorders such as pain and discomfort, nausea and vomiting, as well as loss of appetite, are most common.

Long-term use of the drug carries the risk of hepatotoxicity and severe liver damage.

It is possible to color nails and deposits on bones and teeth.

The drug is not suitable for use in children under 12 years of age because of the serious risk of deposits on tooth enamel and increased propensity to tooth decay.

Teeth can be painted in different shades from yellow to brown.

Patients should avoid prolonged sunlight during tetracycline therapy, as the drug leads to pronounced light sensitivity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit