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Oxytetracycline information from DrugsUpdate  

See Available Brands of Oxytetracycline in India

P - Contraindicated in pregnancy
L - Contraindicated in lactation
FI - Food *

Oxytetracycline was the second of the broad-spectrum tetracycline group of antibiotics to be discovered. Oxytetracycline works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to produce proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, multiply and increase in numbers. Oxytetracycline therefore stops the spread of the infection and the remaining bacteria are killed by the immune system or eventually die.

Oxytetracycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic that is active against a wide variety of bacteria. However, some strains of bacteria have developed resistance to this antibiotic, which has reduced its effectiveness for treating some types of infection. Oxytetracycline is still used to treat infections caused by chlamydia (eg the chest infection psittacosis, the eye infection trachoma, and the genital infection urethritis) and infections caused by mycoplasma organisms (eg pneumonia).

Oxytetracycline is used to treat acne, due to its activity against the bacteria on the skin that cause acne (Propionebacterium acnes). It is used to treat flare-ups of chronic bronchitis, due to its activity against the bacteria usually responsible, Haemophilus influenzae. Oxytetracycline may also used to treat other rarer infections, such as those caused by a group of micro-organisms called rickettsiae (eg Q fever). To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to oxytetracycline your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example a swab from the infected area, or a urine or blood sample.



Oxytetracycline binds reversibly to the 30S and possibly 50S ribosomal subunits, thus inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis and arresting cell growth. It is active against a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.

Protein-binding: 20-40%

Hepatic (small amounts).

Urine, faeces; 9 hours (elimination half-life).

Oxytetracycline Indications / Oxytetracycline Uses

Information Not Available

Oxytetracycline Adverse Reactions / Oxytetracycline Side Effects

Anorexia, nausea, vomiting,diarrhoea, glossitis, dysphagia, photosensitivity, oesphageal irritation and ulceration, nephrotoxicity, enterocolitis, rash (rare), blood dyscrasias. Headache, visual disturbances; intracranial hypertension; bulging fontanelles (infants).

Potentially Fatal: Rare. Fulminant diarrhoea in post operative patients.


Information Not Available

Special Precautions

Elderly, renal or hepatic impairment; myasthenia gravis; lupus erythematosus, children <12 years.

Other Drug Interactions

Antacids, iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, zinc salts reduce absorption. Concurrent use may cause increased levels of lithium, digoxin, halofantrine and theophylline; decreased concentrations of atovaquone. Increased risk of ergotism with ergot alkaloids. May cause failure of oral contraception.

Potentially Fatal: Interferes with anticoagulant control. Nephrotoxic effects exacerbated by diuretics, methoxyflurane or other nephrotoxic drugs; avoid concurrent use with potentially hepatotoxic drugs. Increased incidence of benign intracranial hypertension with retinoids.

Other Interactions

Food Interaction
Absorption reduced by food, milk and milk products. Give 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.


Susceptible infections
Adult: 250-500 mg 4 times daily. Max 4 g daily.
Child: >8 year: 25-50 mg/kg daily in 4 divided doses.
Renal impairment: Dosage may need to be reduced.

Adult: 250-500 mg bid.
Renal impairment: Dosage may need to be reduced.


Uncomplicated gonorrhoea
Adult: 1.5 g initially, followed by 0.5 g four times daily up to a total of 9 g per treatment course.
Renal impairment: Dosage may need to be reduced.

Susceptible infections
Adult: 250 mg once daily or 300 mg daily in 2-3 divided doses.
Child: >8 years: 15-25 mg/kg (max 250 mg) daily in 2-3 divided doses.
Renal impairment: Dosage may need to be reduced.

Superficial ophthalmic infections
Adult: Used in combination with other agents: As ointment: Apply a small amount in the lower conjunctival sac of the infected eye 2-4 times daily. As suspension: Instill 1-2 drops into the affected eye tid.

Infected dermatitis
Adult: In combination with a topical steroid: Apply up to 4 times daily.


Should be taken on an empty stomach. (Take on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.)

List of Contraindications

Oxytetracycline and Pregnancy

Contraindicated in pregnancy

Oxytetracycline and Lactation

Contraindicated in lactation

Oxytetracycline and Children

Information Not Available

Oxytetracycline and Geriatic

Information Not Available

Oxytetracycline and Other Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to tetracyclines, children <8 years, renal damage. Pregnancy, lactation.


Information Not Available

Lab interference

Information Not Available

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