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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin)?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to tetracycline, or to similar medicines such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), or minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin).
Before taking tetracycline, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease. You may not be able to take tetracycline, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during therapy.
If you are using tetracycline to treat gonorrhea, your doctor may test you to make sure you do not also have syphilis, another sexually transmitted disease.
FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby, including permanent discoloration of the teeth later in life. Do not use tetracycline without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Tetracycline can make birth control pills less effective. Use a non-hormonal method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while you are taking tetracycline.
Tetracycline passes into breast milk and may affect bone and tooth development in a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Children younger than 8 years old should not take tetracycline. Tetracycline can cause permanent tooth discoloration and can also affect a child's growth.
How should I take tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take tetracycline with a full glass of water (8 ounces).
Take this medication on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
Do not take tetracycline with milk or other dairy products, unless your doctor has told you to. Dairy products can make it harder for your body to absorb the medicine.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Tetracycline will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu. Do not give this medicine to another person, even if they have the same condition you have.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking tetracycline. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Throw away any unused tetracycline when it expires or when it is no longer needed. Do not take any tetracycline after the expiration date printed on the label. Using expired tetracycline can cause damage to your kidneys.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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