Oxytetracycline (Terramycin): Uses, Administration, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions and Overdose

This medicine should be used with caution in the elderly, patients with kidney or liver problems, or myasthenia gravis (a disease of muscle weakness).

It should not be used in children under 12 years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with severe kidney or liver problems, systemic lupus erythematosus (a long-term allergic condition that causes joint pain, skin rash, or fever), or those with a blood disorder called acute porphyria.


It should keep dry and store below 25 ° C.

Uses of oxytetracycline

Oxytetracycline is a metabolic product of Streptomyces rimosus and belongs to the tetracycline family of antibiotics.

Oxytetracycline is used to treat several problems. It is a tetracycline antibacterial drug, sometimes known as an antibiotic.

It is used to treat infections caused by bacteria in many different parts of the body.

In general, this drug is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections (a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means that it is effective against a wide variety of bacteria).


The benefits of taking this medication may include treating, eradicating, and resolving bacterial infections, allowing for recovery.

The following are typical uses for oxytetracycline:

  1. Treatment of bacterial infections of the lungs, urinary system, and eyes.
  2. Treatment of skin infections such as acne.
  3. Treatment of a variety of sexually transmitted diseases.
  4. Treatment of infections caused by Rickettsiae microorganisms transmitted by lice, fleas, ticks, and mites.
  5. Treatment of cholera (a disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae in infected drinking water, causing severe diarrhea and other serious symptoms).
  6. Treatment for leptospirosis (caused by bacterial infections in the water and can cause severe symptoms, such as liver failure and meningitis [inflammation of the membrane around the brain]).

Leptospirosis can also cause gas gangrene (a life-threatening wound infection from bacteria usually found in soil) and tetanus (a bacterial infection, usually through a wound, also called lockjaw).

Sometimes your doctor may prescribe this drug to treat a condition not listed above.


Take it by mouth, usually every 6 hours. Take the tablets an hour before or two hours after meals, followed by a glass of water. Tablets should always be taken when getting up or sitting down, and not just before going to bed.

Intramuscular administration of oxytetracycline is also used. However, it produces lower blood levels than oral administration in recommended doses.

Patients prescribed intramuscular oxytetracycline should switch to the oral dosage form as soon as possible. If fast, high blood levels are needed, oxytetracycline should be given intravenously.

Use this medication while the prescription lasts to get the most benefit from it.

Remember to use it simultaneously every day unless your doctor specifically tells you not to.

It may take some time before the full benefit of this medicine takes effect.

Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your physician.

What dosage?

The dose administered depends on your age, sex, medical condition, response to therapy, and certain interacting medications.

Do I need to avoid any consumption?

Do not take the tablets simultaneously as milk, anti-indigestion medications, or medications that contain iron or zinc. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop the oxytetracycline treatment?

Always complete treatment as prescribed by your doctor.

Side effects of oxytetracycline

It can have the following side effects:

  • Feeling sick or sick (nausea).
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen tongue
  • Eruptions
  • Difficulty to swallow.
  • Itch.
  • Red spots on the skin.
  • Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight (photosensitivity).
  • Inflammation and ulcers of the esophagus cause pain when swallowing.
  • Headache with or without visual disturbances.

If any of these persist or consider serious, inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe, persistent, or bloody diarrhea (which may be associated with stomach pain or fever).
  • Skin redness or sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Severe pain when swallowing.
  • Persistent or severe headache, particularly with visual disturbances.

A severe allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Severe allergic reaction symptoms include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, and trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice other effects not listed above.


Before taking oxytetracycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or other antibiotics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of severe kidney or liver problems, systemic lupus erythematosus (a long-term allergic disease that causes joint pain, skin rash, or fever), or a blood disorder called acute porphyria.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any kidney or liver problems or myasthenia gravis (a disease of muscle weakness).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.

Does drinking alcohol affect this medicine?

It is not known whether alcohol consumption affects the action of this medicine.

Other precautions

In the elderly, oxytetracycline should be used with caution. This group is more likely to have kidney problems than younger patients, leading to higher levels of this drug in the body in elderly patients.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: please be sure to read the detailed information below:

Oxytetracycline in pregnancy

Oxytetracycline is not safe to take if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It can affect the health of the baby if taken during pregnancy.

It is wise to limit the use of medications during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances after carefully evaluating your specific health situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, you are advised to discuss the medication with your doctor or pharmacist.

Lactation feeding

Oxytetracycline is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is wise to limit the use of medications while breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances after carefully evaluating your specific health situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, you are advised to discuss the medication with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to look for this drug

Find information on over-the-counter or prescription drugs, including side effects and interactions.

Interactions of oxytetracycline with other medications

Before using this medication, inform your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription drugs. Tell your doctor if you take vitamins or complementary remedies, such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medications.

If you take more than one medicine, they can interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use drugs that interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medications may need to be adjusted or more closely monitored.

The following medicines may interact with oxytetracycline:

  • Retinoids are used to treat acne, psoriasis, and leukemia, for example, isotretinoin, tretinoin, or acitretin.
  • Blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin or phenindione.
  • Antacids are used in indigestion remedies.
  • Medicines to heal ulcers, such as sucralfate.
  • Diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide .
  • Supplements that contain calcium, iron, aluminum, magnesium, or zinc.
  • Kaolin-pectin and bismuth subsalicylate are used to treat diarrhea.
  • Quinapril is used to lower blood pressure.
  • Medicines used in the treatment of diabetes.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, inform your prescriber of all the products you use before taking this medication.

If you have any questions or want to discuss your medicine, please speak with your local pharmacist.


The effects of an overdose with oxytetracycline are not known.

If you believe that you, or someone you care for, may have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of oxytetracycline, or if an intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital or GP.