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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Ala-Tet, Sumycin

Generic Name: tetracycline (Pronunciation: TET tra SYE kleen)

What is tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin)?

Tetracycline is an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Tetracycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and others.

Tetracycline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Sumycin 250 mg Cap

capsule, pink, imprinted with SQUIBB 655

Sumycin 250 mg Tab

oblong, pink, imprinted with SQUIBB 663

Sumycin 500 mg Cap

capsule, pink/white, imprinted with SQUIBB 763

Sumycin 500 mg Tab

oblong, pink, imprinted with SQUIBB 603

Tetracycline 250 mg-BAR

capsule, orange/yellow, imprinted with barr, 011

Tetracycline 250 mg-IVA

orange/yellow, capsule, imprinted with Z 2416, Z 22416

Tetracycline 500 mg-BAR

black/yellow, capsule, imprinted with barr, 010

Tetracycline 500 mg-IVA

capsule, black/yellow, imprinted with LOGO 2407, Z 2407

Tetracycline 500 mg-MYL

black/yellow, imprinted with MYLAN 102

What are the possible side effects of tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using tetracycline and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe headache, dizziness, blurred vision;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • sores or swelling in your rectal or genital area;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach upset;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • swollen tongue, trouble swallowing; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin)?

Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby, including permanent discoloration of the teeth later in life. Tetracycline can make birth control pills less effective. Use a second method of birth control while you are taking tetracycline to keep from getting pregnant.

Tetracycline passes into breast milk and may affect bone and tooth development in a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give tetracycline to a child younger than 8 years old. Tetracycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth, and it can affect a child's growth.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Tetracycline can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking tetracycline. These products can make tetracycline less effective.

Throw away any unused tetracycline when it expires or when it is no longer needed. Do not take any tetracycline after the expiration date on the label has passed. Expired tetracycline can cause a dangerous syndrome resulting in damage to the kidneys.

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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