Tetracycline is used to treat bacterial infections in many different areas of the body, most commonly urinary tract infections, strep infections, sexually transmitted diseases, respiratory infections and skin infections. Of the broad spectrum antibiotics, this one is the only one to be so successful in treating acne. Tetracycline is also sometimes used to treat certain types of arthritis, leprosy, lyme disease and malaria.
Common side effects of tetracylines include increased sensitivity to sunlight, stomach cramps, diarrhea and dizziness. Less common side effects include headache, nausea and vomiting, changes in vision, and changes in skin color.
This medication can interact with acitretin, isotretinoin, strontium, tretinoin and penicilins, among others.
Tetracyline can make birth control pills less effective or ineffective, so a back-up method should be used. As a common side effect of this medication is photosensitivity, direct sunlight should be avoided when taking this medication. Sunscreen is also very important.