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Oxytetracycline tabs 250mg


Tablets containing oxytetracycline

Drugs List

  • oxytetracycline 250mg tablets
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Acne vulgaris
    Antibiotic sensitive infections
    Brucellosis (in combination with streptomycin)
    Syphilis - chancre (initial therapy)
    Syphilis - secondary
    Treatment of rosacea

    Respiratory tract infections
    Treatment of pneumonia, whooping cough and other lower respiratory tract infections due to susceptible strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and other organisms. Treatment of chronic bronchitis (including the prophylaxis of acute exacerbations).

    Urinary tract infections
    Treatment of urinary tract infections caused by susceptible strains of Klebsiella species, Enterobacter species, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus faecalis and other organisms.

    Sexually transmitted diseases
    Treatment of infections due Chlamydial trachomatis including uncomlicated urethral, endocervical or rectal infections. Non-gonococcal urethritis caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum. Oxytetracycline is also indicated in chancroid, granuloma inguinale and lymphogranuloma venereum. Oxytetracycline is an alternative drug in the treatment of gonorrhoea and syphilis.

    Skin infections
    Treatment of Acne vulgaris when antibiotic therapy is considered necessary and severe rosacea.

    Ophthalmological infections
    Treatment of trachoma, although the infectious agent, as judged by immunofluorescence, is not always eliminated. Inclusion conjunctivitis may be treated with oral oxytetracycline alone or in combination with topical agents.

    Rickettsial infections
    Treatment of Rocky mountain spotted fever, typhus group, Q fever and coxiella endocarditis and tick fevers.

    Antibiotic sensitive infections
    Treatment of stagnant loop syndrome. Psittacosis, brucellosis (in combination with streptomycin), cholera, bubonic plague, louse and tick-borne relapsing fever, tularaemia, glanders, melioidosis and acute intestinal ameobiasis (as an adjunct to amoebicides).

    Oxytetracycline is an alternative drug in the treatment of leptospirosis, gas-gangrene and tetanus.


    All infections due to Group A beta-haemolytic streptococci should be treated for at least 10 days.


    Antibiotic sensitive infections
    The minimum recommended dosage is 250 mg every 6 hours. Therapeutic levels are attained more rapidly by the administration of 500 mg initially, followed by 250 mg every 6 hours. For severe infections, the dosage may be increased to 500 mg every 6 hours.

    Skin Infections
    250 to 500 mg daily in single or divided doses should be administered for at least 3 months in the treatment of acne vulgaris and severe rosacea.

    Streptococcal infections
    A therapeutic dose should be administered for at least 10 days.

    500 mg four times daily accompanied by streptomycin.

    Sexually transmitted diseases
    500 mg four times daily for 7 days is recommended in the following infections: uncomplicated gonococcal infections (except anorectal infections in men); uncomplicated urethra; endocervical or rectal infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis; non-gonococcal urethritis caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum.

    Acute epididymo-orchitis caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, or Neisseria gonorroeae: 500 mg four times daily for 10 days.

    Primary and secondary syphilis
    500 mg four times daily for 15 days. Syphilis of more than one year's duration, (latent syphilis of uncertain or more than 1 year's duration, cardiovascular or late benign syphilis) except neurosyphilis, should be treated with 500 mg four times daily for 30 days. Patient compliance with this regimen may be difficult so care should be taken to encourage optimal compliance. Close follow up including laboratory tests, is recommended.


    (See Dosage; Adults).
    Lower doses may be required due to age related decrease in renal function.


    Over 12 years
    (See Dosage; Adults).
    Oxytetracycline should not be administered to children in the period of tooth development because of the likelihood of staining of teeth and deposition in the epiphysis.

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    Oxytetracycline should be avoided if possible in renal impairment. If oxytetracycline administration is considered absolutely essential in these patients, dosages should be reduced and/or the interval between doses should be extended.

    Usual doses may lead to excessive systemic accumulation of tetracyclines and liver toxicity.

    These effects are related to the dose and the severity of renal impairment and are probably due to the anti-anabolic action of tetracyclines.


    Children under 12 years
    Systemic lupus erythematosus

    Precautions and Warnings

    Glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome
    Hepatic impairment
    Lactose intolerance
    Myasthenia gravis
    Renal impairment

    Consult national/regional policy on the use of anti-infectives
    Contains lactose
    Haematological monitoring required in long term use
    Monitor hepatic function on long term therapy
    Monitor renal function on long term therapy
    Patients with gonorrhoea should be tested for syphilis
    Prolonged use may result in superinfection with non-susceptible organisms
    Discontinue if overgrowth of resistant organisms occurs
    Discontinue if severe skin reaction occurs
    Discontinue if signs of raised intracranial pressure
    Advise avoid milk/antacid/mineral supplements 2 hours before or after dose
    Dairy products may impair absorption
    Avoid direct exposure to sunlight

    Tetracycline drugs may cause permanent tooth discoluration (yellow-grey-brown), if administered during tooth development, in the last half of pregnancy and in infancy up to 12 years of age. Enamel hypoplasia has also been reported. This adverse reaction is more common during long-term use of the drug but has been observed following repeated short-term courses.

    Absorption is adversely affected by milk, antacids and aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc salts.

    When treating venereal disease, where co-existent syphilis is suspected, proper diagnostic procedures should be utilised. In all such cases, monthly serological tests should be made for at least 4 months.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Oxytetracycline is contraindicated in pregnancy.

    Tetracyclines cross the placenta and bind strongly to calcium ions, and therefore are deposited in developing tooth and bone structures. The use of tetracyclines in the 1950's resulted in many reports of brown discoloured teeth in the children who were prenatally exposed to tetracyclines. A report which examined the relationship between oral oxytetracycline and congenital defects between 1980 and 1996, found that 0.9% of offspring with congenital defects were born to mothers who had taken oxytetracycline whilst pregnant. This compared to 0.6% of newborns with congenital defects who were born to mothers who had not taken oxytetracycline. These defects included neural tube defects, cleft palate and cardiovascular malformations. However, these results were based on a very small number of cases. In the past the use of tetracyclines have been associated with severe maternal hepatotoxicity (Schaefer, 2007). Schaefer (2007) have contraindicated tetracyclines after the 15th week of gestation and consider them to be second line therapy in the first trimester, but doxycycline should be preferred in such cases. Inadvertent use of tetracyclines, even after the 15th week, is not an indication for termination of pregnancy or for invasive diagnostic procedures.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Oxytetracycline is contraindicated in breastfeeding.

    Oxytetracycline is excreted into human milk, but in very low concentrations. Theoretically, the staining of teeth and inhibition of bone growth could occur in breastfed infants whose mothers were taking oxytetracycline, but this is very unlikely due to the low milk concentrations.

    Three potential problems may exist for the nursing infant even though no reports describing these have been found: Modification of bowel flora, direct effects on the infant, and interference with the interpretation of culture results if a fever workup is required. Because of the reasons stated above and the potential for serious adverse effects on the newborn, the use of tetracycline should be avoided during breast feeding.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Abdominal discomfort
    Abdominal pain
    Altered liver function tests
    Anaphylactoid purpura
    Angioneurotic oedema
    Antibiotic-associated colitis
    Aplastic anaemia
    Benign intracranial hypertension
    Blood dyscrasias
    Brown-black microscopic discolouration of thyroid tissue
    Bulging fontanelles in infants
    Candidiasis (mouth or throat)
    Drug fever
    Dry mouth
    Enamel hypoplasia
    Exfoliative dermatitis
    Fixed drug eruption
    Fungal superinfection
    Haemolytic anaemia
    Hepatic failure
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Increase in blood urea nitrogen
    Oesophageal ulceration
    Overgrowth by non-susceptible organisms
    Pigmentation of nails
    Pseudomembranous colitis
    Rectal irritation
    Reduction in serum vitamin B concentrations
    Toxic epidermal necrolysis
    Vaginal candidiasis
    Visual disturbances
    Worsening of lupus erythematosus
    Yellowish-brown discolouration of teeth


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: July 2014

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press Accessed on July 15, 2014.

    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 37th edition (2011) ed. Sweetman, S. Pharmaceutical Press, London.

    Paediatric Formulary Committee. BNF for Children (online) London: BMJ Group, Pharmaceutical Press, and RCPCH Publications Accessed on July 15, 2014.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Oxytetracycline tablets BP 250mg. Actavis UK Ltd. Revised May 2010.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Oxytetracycline tablets 250mg. Intrapharm Laboratories Ltd. Revised October 2015.

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Oxytetracycline Last revised: September 7, 2013
    Last accessed: July 15, 2014

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