Ala-Tet

Name: Ala-Tet

Uses of Ala-Tet

Tetracycline is a prescription medication used to treat various bacterial infections.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should I take Ala-Tet (tetracycline)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take tetracycline on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Do not take tetracycline with milk or other dairy products, unless your doctor has told you to. Dairy products can make it harder for your body to absorb the medicine.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using tetracycline.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Tetracycline will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Throw away any unused tetracycline after the expiration date on the label has passed. Taking expired tetracycline can cause damage to your kidneys.

What should I avoid while taking Ala-Tet (tetracycline)?

For at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking tetracycline: avoid taking iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Tetracycline can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Ala-Tet (tetracycline) side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • pale or yellowed skin, easy bruising or bleeding;

  • any signs of a new infection.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, loss of appetite;

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;

  • swollen tongue, black or "hairy" tongue, trouble swallowing;

  • sores or swelling in your rectal or genital area; or

  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

For the Consumer

Applies to tetracycline: capsule, capsule delayed release, capsule extended release, powder for suspension, suspension, syrup, tablet, tablet delayed release, tablet extended release

Other dosage forms:

  • implant, powder for suspension

Along with its needed effects, tetracycline (the active ingredient contained in Ala-Tet) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking tetracycline:

For all tetracyclinesMore common
  • Increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight (rare with minocycline)
Rare
  • Abdominal pain
  • bulging fontanel (soft spot on head) of infants
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • visual changes
  • yellowing skin
For demeclocycline onlyLess common
  • Greatly increased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • increased thirst
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
For minocycline onlyLess common
  • Pigmentation (darker color or discoloration) of skin and mucous membranes

Some side effects of tetracycline may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

For all tetracyclinesMore common
  • Cramps or burning of the stomach
  • diarrhea
Less common
  • Itching of the rectal or genital (sex organ) areas
  • sore mouth or tongue
For minocycline onlyMore common
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or unsteadiness

In some patients tetracyclines may cause the tongue to become darkened or discolored. This effect is only temporary and will go away when you Stop taking tetracycline.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tetracycline: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral suspension, oral tablet

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included anogenital lesions with monilial overgrowth, anorexia, black hairy tongue, dysphagia, enamel hypoplasia, enterocolitis, epigastric distress, diarrhea, glossitis, nausea, permanent tooth discoloration, and vomiting. Rarely, esophageal ulceration has been reported with oral tablets and capsules.[Ref]

There have been several cases of esophageal ulcers associated with oral tetracycline therapy. In each case, the patient had taken the medication just before bedtime with only small amounts of liquid and reported severe retrosternal pain and painful swallowing shortly thereafter. The ulcers resolved spontaneously after discontinuation of tetracycline therapy. To minimize esophageal irritation, patients should be advised to avoid taking tetracycline just before retiring and to take the medication with plenty of water.

Oral ulcers have also occurred in a patient who gargled with a tetracycline solution made by emptying the contents of a 250 mg capsule into water.[Ref]

Renal

Renal side effects generally occurred in patients with preexisting renal disease and have been the result of accumulation of tetracycline (the active ingredient contained in Ala-Tet) Increases in BUN commonly occur because of tetracycline's anti-anabolic effect but do not necessarily indicate renal dysfunction.

Fanconi's syndrome is characterized by renal glycosuria, phosphaturia, aminoaciduria, and acidosis with or without proteinuria and rickets. It is associated with the ingestion of outdated or degraded tetracycline. Additionally, previous formulations of tetracycline contained citric acid which may contribute to metabolic acidosis; however, current formulations of the drug do not. Patients generally require hospitalization with intravenous medication to correct the accompanying metabolic abnormalities. Most cases resolve over time after discontinuation of tetracycline without permanent sequelae. Patients should be instructed to discard any unused portions of tetracycline at the end of therapy and to never use tetracycline remaining from a previous prescription.[Ref]

Renal side effects have included increased BUN and Fanconi's syndrome. In patients with preexisting renal impairment, tetracycline may cause azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acidosis. Patients with dehydration are particularly vulnerable.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects have included exfoliative dermatitis, maculopapular and erythematous rashes, nail discoloration, onycholysis, and photosensitivity.[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal side effects have included adult tooth discoloration, enamel hypoplasia, and a decrease in linear skeletal growth rate. Tetracycline (the active ingredient contained in Ala-Tet) should not be administered to pregnant women or children less than 12 years of age.[Ref]

Tetracycline deposits into calcium-rich developing osseous tissue thereby causing the discoloration of permanent teeth, decreased rate of enamel growth, and a decrease in linear skeletal growth rate.[Ref]

Nervous system

There have been several cases of benign intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) associated with tetracycline (the active ingredient contained in Ala-Tet) therapy. In most cases, the patient was female and was prescribed tetracycline to treat acne. Symptoms commonly occurring in these cases consisted of severe headaches, nausea, and blurred vision. Physical examination revealed papilledema in all cases, and several had significantly increased pressure on lumbar puncture. All patients recovered over time after discontinuation of tetracycline therapy. The mechanism for development of increased intracranial pressure is unknown.[Ref]

Nervous system side effects have included benign intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) in adults and bulging fontanels in infants.[Ref]

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects have included hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, neutropenia, and eosinophilia.[Ref]

At least two cases of tetracycline-induced hemolytic anemia have been reported. In both cases, the anemia resolved over time after discontinuation of the medication and reoccurred 1 to 2 years later following another course of tetracycline therapy. The mechanism for development of hemolytic anemia is unknown.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity side effects have included urticaria, angioneurotic edema, anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid purpura, exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus, hypersensitivity myocarditis, and serum sickness-like reactions (fever, rash, arthralgia).[Ref]

Hepatic

Hepatic side effects have included increased liver enzyme levels, hepatotoxicity, liver failure, and bile duct paucity with prolonged cholestasis. These may be dose-related.[Ref]

Other

Other side effects have included superinfection due to overgrowth of resistant organisms. The long-term use of tetracyclines has been associated with microscopic brown-black discoloration of the thyroid gland; however, abnormal thyroid function has not been reported.[Ref]

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects have included azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and metabolic acidosis. Increases in serum BUN levels may occur as a result of the anti-anabolic action of tetracycline (the active ingredient contained in Ala-Tet) and not necessarily indicate renal disease.[Ref]

These metabolic side effects have occurred more commonly in the presence of preexisting renal disease, and occur as a result of the accumulation of tetracycline.[Ref]

Some side effects of Ala-Tet may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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