• Most commonly prescribed for treating acne
  • Fights against spots and pimples
  • Very effective in reducing redness and inflammation of the skin
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What is Oxytetracycline?

Oxytetracycline belongs to the broad-spectrum tetracycline group of antibiotics.

It comes in the form of a tablet and is a prescription-only medication. Oxytetracycline is the name for this medicine and is also the active ingredient contained within it.

You can buy Oxytetracycline from Medicine Direct when you have been prescribed it by a doctor. We sell the standard dose of Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets, and if you order before 2pm we can offer you next day delivery on your purchase.

What is Oxytetracycline used to treat?

Oxytetracycline is most commonly prescribed for treating acne. This broad-spectrum antibiotic is active against a wide range of bacteria, making it a very effective acne treatment, reducing inflammation and fighting against spots and pimples.

Propionibacterium is the name of the bacteria most associated with creating spots; it feeds on the sebum that is produced in the skin by the sebaceous glands. By feeding on the sebum, Propionibacterium produces waste products and fatty acids which irritate the sebaceous glands. This irritation causes the glands to become infected and inflamed, which creates spots and other symptoms of acne.

Oxytetracycline works by helping to prevent bacteria from producing the essential proteins required for bacteria to multiply, grow and increase in numbers. As a result, this stops the spread of the infection; any bacteria that remains will either be killed by your immune system or die on its own, eventually.

Who can take Oxytetracycline?

Oxytetracycline is highly effective in treating acne in many cases, but it may not suitable for everyone to use.

Do not take this medication without taking to your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to Oxytetracycline or any of the other ingredients contained in the medicine (refer to the Ingredients tab for full details)
  • Your doctor has told you that you may be intolerant to certain sugars
  • You have any kidney problems
  • You have any liver problems
  • You have porphyria
  • You are suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • You are currently receiving any vitamin A or retinoid therapy
  • You suffer from myasthenia gravis

This medication is not suitable for children under the age of 12 years old.

Possible Side Effects

As with any medication to treat acne, Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets do come with a risk of certain side effects.

Not everyone will get side effects while using this treatment, but you should speak to your doctor if you experience any of the following while using Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets:

  • You have a headache
  • You have diarrhoea
  • You suffer from nausea or any abdominal pain
  • You develop thrush
  • You have inflammation of the bowels (colitis)
  • You have inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • You suffer from any blood disorders
  • You have yellowing of the skin or around the whites of the eyes (could be a sign of jaundice)
  • Your skin becomes sensitive to sunlight
  • You have a skin rash or irritation of the skin, changes of skin colour or texture of the skin
  • You have difficulty swallowing or irritation of the throat
  • You have raised pressure in the skull, resulting in persistent headaches or blurred vision

Please not that the above list is not exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet, which will come with your medication, for the full list of side effects of Oxytetracycline.

More serious adverse reactions of this treatment can be found on the Side Effects tab on this page.

Oxytetracycline Dosage and Directions

Our phramacist and prescribers follow NICE prescribing guidelines when prescribing Oxytetracycline

The dose you are required to take to treat acne will be decided by your doctor. Always follow their instructions when using this medication and be sure to read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start the course of treatment.

Take two Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets twice a day, ideally in the morning and evening.

Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets are for oral consumption only and should be swallowed whole with a drink of water.

You should take Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets either one hour before you eat or two hours after. Do not take them immediately before you go to bed.

Do not take Oxytetracycline at the same time as any indigestion tablets.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns, before you start to take the medication.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take a dose of Oxytetracycline tablets, just take them as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time to take your next scheduled dose. If it is nearly time for you to take your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue taking Oxytetracycline as normal.

You should never double dose any treatment to try and make up for missing a dose. This will not treat your acne any more effectively and may result in unwanted side effects.

To effectively fight acne, it is important you are consistent with your doses. To ensure you don’t forget a dose, try to take it at the same time every day. Some people find it helps to set an alarm as a reminder.

Can I drink alcohol while I use it?

Yes, it is safe to consume alcohol while taking Oxytetracycline; alcohol does not make this treatment any less effective.

What if I take more than I'm supposed to?

You should speak to your doctor if you accidentally take more Oxytetracycline tablets than you should have.

How long will I need to take it for?

The usual length of treatment is up to three months when taking Oxytetracycline for acne, although your doctor may instruct you to take it for a longer or shorter period.

Oxytetracycline FAQ's

Is Oxytetracycline the same as Doxycycline?

These two medications are both members of a family of medicines known as tetracyclines. However, Doxycycline is often prescribed to treat malaria as well as being an acne treatment; this medication is more fat soluble than Oxytetracycline.

Is Oxytetracycline better than Lymecycline?

Both of these medicines are used to treat acne, cystic acne, or rosacea. Oxytetracycline and Lymecycline are both tetracycline antibiotics and have very similar effects on the body. However, some people find Lymecycline a more convenient medication to use, as this treatment only needs to be taken once a day. In contrast, Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets need to be taken twice a day.

Does Oxytetracycline have penicillin in it?

No, Oxytetracycline does not contain penicillin, so if you are looking for an effective acne treatment and you have an allergy to penicillin, this medication should be perfectly safe to use.

Can I take it if I'm pregnant?

This medication is not recommended for women who are pregnant as Oxytetracycline might not be safe for babies. If you suffer from acne and are currently pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant, you should speak to your doctor. There may be a course of medication available that has been proven safe to take while pregnant. At the same time, you should not use Oxytetracycline if you are currently breastfeeding. This is because small amounts of the medicine can get into your breast milk and be passed onto your baby. This could be harmful to your baby. Again, speak to your doctor, who will be able to advise you on the best course of medication to use.

What other forms is this medicine available in?

Oxytetracycline is available in various forms, making it easy for a large range of people to take. Aside from Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets, the medication also comes as a: Powder, Spray, Topical cream or gel, Injection, Ointment. You can order the Oxytetracycline tablets from Medicine Direct after an online consultation with one of our certified doctors. If you order before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery. Speak to your doctor about the alternate forms this medicine comes available in.

Why do I need to take this medication on an empty stomach?

Many antibiotics need to be taken either before food or on an empty stomach. The reason for this is because certain food and drink can interact with the medication, making it less effective at treating your acne. Food and drink may also stop your stomach from properly absorbing the medication.

Can I take it when I have just consumed milk?

You should try to take this medication on an empty stomach. Drinking dairy products before you take these tablets can limit how much of the medicine is absorbed into your stomach.

Can I buy Oxytetracycline over the counter?

You can only buy Oxytetracycline when you have been given a prescription for the treatment by a doctor. When you have a prescription, you can order Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets from Medicine Direct. Order before 2pm for next day delivery.

How do I store it?

Oxytetracycline should be stored in a cool, dry space (below 25 C) and kept out of sight and reach of children.

Will it affect my ability to drive?

Oxytetracycline is not directly linked to impairing your ability to drive. However, as one of the adverse reactions associated with this treatment is dizziness, you should not drive if you experience this symptom while using the medication. If you do experience dizziness, you should not drive, ride a bike, or operate machinery until you feel better again.

Will this treatment affect my contraception?

Oxytetracycline can make oral contraceptives less effective. For this reason, you should take added precautions, such as using a condom, for at least one week after your course of acne treatment has concluded.

What do the tablets look like?

Oxytetracycline tablets are circular and curved like a ball on both sides. They are yellow in colour.

Do I need a prescription?

Yes, you do need a prescription to purchase this medicine. If you order from Medicine Direct, one of our certified doctors will prescribe Oxytetracycline if they believe it to be a suitable treatment for your acne.

Is wearing makeup advisable?

Wearing makeup will not make a difference to the treatment. However, you should try to opt for products which do not clog up your pores or make your face greasy; these may make your acne worse. Similarly, you should ensure you wash your makeup off at the end of the day before going to sleep.

How can Oxytetracycline cause photosensitivity?

Certain tetracycline medicines may cause photosensitivity, which can result in redness, swelling and rashes, although these cases are very rare. You can limit the likeliness of this happening by wearing a high factor sun block when exposed to UV light.

How long can this medication take to treat acne?

You need to give Oxytetracycline time to fight the infection and clear up your acne. Your doctor will normally put you on a course of this treatment for 8-12 weeks (three months). This will give the medicine time to fight the infection properly. If your acne is still there after this course of treatment is complete, you should return to your doctor, who may prescribe you a different course of treatment for your acne.

How should I take it?

You will normally be instructed to take this medicine twice a day. You should take it one hour before eating or at least two hours after eating, to ensure it is most effective at treating your acne.

When will I stop taking it?

You should not stop taking this medicine until you have completed the course of treatment outlined by your doctor. Even if your acne has cleared, you should not stop using Oxytetracycline until the course of treatment has been completed. If you stop the medication before the course is complete, this could cause your acne to return even more severely.

Does acne return after the Oxytetracycline treatment has finished?

Once your acne has been cleared, there is the risk that not taking this medication may mean you succumb to bacteria again. That is why it is vital that you always make sure you complete the course of treatment prescribed by your doctor. Even if your acne has cleared, the bacteria may not yet have been eliminated from your body, so be sure to complete the treatment.

How do I buy Oxytetracycline online?

You can order this medicine online when you have a prescription from a doctor. Order from Medicine Direct and you will receive an online consultation with one of our certified doctors; if they prescribe you Oxytetracycline, you can then purchase it from our online pharmacy. If you order before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery.

Oxytetracycline Serious Side Effects

The more common Oxytetracycline side effects can be found on the main product page.

In rare cases, you may experience a severe allergic reaction to this medication and require urgent treatment in hospital.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should either call 999 or go to A&E straight away:

  • You develop a skin rash that is red, swollen, itchy, blistering or peeling
  • You are wheezing
  • You have tightness in the chest or throat
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or talk
  • You have swelling in the mouth, tongue, throat, face or lips

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet before taking any medication, for the full list of side effects of Oxytetracycline.

If you have any concerns or questions at all, we strongly advise you to speak to your doctor before you start to use this to treat your acne.

Oxytetracycline Warnings and drug interactions

As with all medications, Oxytetracycline may interact with other medications.

Before starting any new course of medicine, you should always tell your doctor if you are already taking any other treatments. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

In particular, you should inform your doctor if you are currently using any of the following:

  • Any penicillin medication, such as amoxicillin, to treat infection
  • Vitamin A
  • Anticoagulants (drugs to thin your blood)
  • Lithium
  • Oral contraceptives (Oxytetracycline can make these less effective)
  • Diuretics (water tablets)
  • Kaolin-pectin and bismuth subsalicylate (to treat diarrhoea)
  • Any medicines you may be using to treat diabetes
  • Methoxyflurane
  • Any medicines that contain aluminium, iron, calcium, magnesium, bismuth or zinc salts

Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to take any new medicines. This leaflet will accompany your medication and will be contained in the packet.

If you have any questions or concerns about your new medicine, we strongly advise that you discuss them with your doctor before you start your course of treatment.

For more information on medicines that interact with Oxytetracyline.

If you order this medicine online, you should only ever do so from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, like Medicine Direct. This will ensure you only purchase a genuine version of Oxytetracycline. Acne treatments, like most medicines, are often sold as fakes and may be unsafe to use.

Order with Medicine Direct for an online consultation with a certified doctor, who will prescribe this medicine if they believe it to be a suitable cure for your acne. If you order before 2pm, we can offer next day delivery on your product.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Oxytetracycline is not usually recommended as a treatment for women who are pregnant. If you are currently pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant, you should inform your doctor before you start to take Oxytetracycline tablets.

Similarly, you should not take this medication without speaking to your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Oxytetracycline can get into your breast milk, which may be harmful to your baby. Learn more about taking oxyteracycline during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Oxytetracycline Ingredients

The active ingredient contained in this medicine is oxytetracycline.

Inactive ingredients also contained are: maize starch, pregelatinized maize starch, povidone, sodium starch glycolate, sodium lauryl sulphate, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide (E171), quinoline yellow (E104), hydroxypropyl cellulose (E463), sunset yellow (E110), hypromellose, ethylcellulose and dibutyl phthalate.

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
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Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

This page has recently been medically reviewed by Sonia Khan MPharm: 2076091

Updated on: 21/05/2021

Published on: 12/10/2020

This content has been written by James Nuttall and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan.

Sonia Khan Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


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