• Commonly used to treat acne
  • Very effectively reduces redness and skin inflammation
  • Branded version of Lymecycline
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What is Tetralysal (Lymecycline)?

Tetralysal is an oral medication. It is the brand name for a medicine called lymecycline, which is a broad-spectrum tetracycline antibiotic which is used in the treatment of acne.

This medicine is prescribed for acne and infections, it kills the bacteria that causes spots on the skin by starving them of valuable proteins that they need to survive.

There is no quick fix when it comes to treating acne, it can have a huge impact on self-confidence, quality of life and has also been linked to depression. Fortunately, Acne can be treated with Tetralysal, which contains the widely prescribed tetracycline antibiotic, Lymecycline.

Tetralysal capsules are only available on prescription and can be taken by adults and children over the age of 12. Each tablet contains 408mg of Lymecycline.

What is Tetralysal used to treat?

Tetralysal is very commonly used to treat acne. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, this medicine is very effective at reducing the redness and inflammation caused by outbreaks, making it one of the most effective acne treatments available.

Aside from acne breakouts, the properties within Tetralysal capsules are also beneficial for treating the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. These capsules are very effective at fighting against bacteria; by stopping the build-up of bacteria in the body, Tetralysal can rapidly diminish the appearance and formation of spots.

This course of acne treatment usually lasts for a minimum of 8 weeks.

This medication is also prescribed to treat other bacterial infections, such as chest infections or sexually transmitted infections.

How does Tetralysal work?

Tetralysal works by inhibiting propionibacterium acnes, which are the bacteria that cause acne to occur. The bacteria specifically feeds on sebum, which is a natural oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin.

When feeding on sebum, the bacteria leaves behind fatty acids and waste products that can irritate the sebaceous glands and cause them to become inflamed and cause spots.

Tetralysal’s active ingredient lymecycline will stop this bacteria from producing the proteins they need to reproduce and survive. By controlling the number of bacteria present on the skin, the inflammation of the sebaceous glands are also reduced, thus helping to clear some of the main symptoms of acne such as redness (inflammation) and spots.

Tetralysal dose

The typical dose of Tetralysal when treating acne in adults and children over 12 years of age:


1 x 408mg capsule daily

Source - NICE

These doses may vary from case to case. Always take Tetralysal in accordance with the dose your doctor tells you to take.

How to take Tetralysal

Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew them.

If you are taking Tetralysal to treat acne, you should ideally take the capsule in the morning.

Always read the patient information leaflet before you start taking your medication. Here, you will find full instructions on how to use Tetralysal.

Possible side effects

As with all medicines, Tetralysal comes with the risk of certain side effects.

Not everyone will experience side effects while taking Tetralysal capsules, but you should speak to your doctor if any of these common adverse reactions concern you or don't go away. Do not stop taking the treatment without consulting your doctor:

  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Visual disturbances
  • Feeling sick

This list is not exhaustive. For a full list of more serious adverse effects from Tetralysal capsules, you should refer to the Side Effects tab on this page.

Who can take Tetralysal?

Tetracycline antibiotics such as Tetralysal are some of the most common medicines used to treat acne, but they are not suitable for everyone.

In order to ensure that this medicine is safe for you to use, you should speak to your doctor before you use Tetralysal if one or more of the below applies to you:

  • You have lupus
  • You have kidney problems
  • You have liver problems
  • You have myasthenia gravis
  • You have had an allergic reaction to lymecycline or any other medicine in the past

Tetralysal is not usually recommended as a treatment for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

While it is widely prescribed to treat teenage acne, Tetralysal is not suitable for children under 12 years of age.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, you should speak to your doctor before you start to use this treatment. Always read the patient information leaflet for full warnings.

Can you buy Tetralysal over the counter?

No, Tetralysal is a prescription-only medicine (POM), therefore not available over the counter.

Can you buy Tetralysal online in the UK?

You can buy Tetralysal online from regulated pharmacies like Medicine Direct. Full details of the official organisations we are regulated by can be found on our About Us page.

However, to order Tetralysal from our online pharmacy, you will first need to fill out an online consultation questionnaire; this is to make sure it is a suitable medicine for you to take. One of our registered prescribers will review your answers and assess your condition to ensure it is suitable.

Next day delivery is available if you order by 2pm.

Tetralysal alternatives

While acne can be difficult to clear completely, a wide range of medicines are available to treat it. Acne cases differ from person to person, so while one treatment may work very well for one person, it may not for another.

Generic Lymecycline tablets are also available to buy from Medicine Direct after an online consultation.

We also sell Erythromycin, which is a widely prescribed antibiotic for the treatment of acne.

A range of topical medicines are also available to order from our pharmacy.

View the Acne product page to see the full range of treatments we have on offer.

Tetralysal Indications

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE prescribing guidelines when prescribing Tetralysal Capsules.

The usual recommended dose for this medication is 300mg. You should always follow your doctor's instructions precisely and always ensure you read the information leaflet that will come with your capsules, before you start to take the medicine.

There are no specific instructions as to whether you should take this tablet with food or not, but you are less likely to feel sick if you take it with a meal.

If you are taking Tetralysal to treat acne, you will normally be recommended to take it for at least 8 weeks. Your treatment should be reviewed after three months, to determine whether your acne treatment has been effective. If you have not noticed an improvement after this time, your doctor will probably suggest a different course of treatment.

For the most effective treatment, Tetralysal capsules should be used alongside a non-antibiotic topical treatment; this will decrease the chance of resistance of bacteria in your body. Your doctor may give you a prescription for one of these treatments.

It can be combined with certain over the counter creams that contain benzoyl peroxide for a more effective treatment, also.

What if I take too much?

An extra dose of Tetralysal is unlikely to harm you, but you should speak to your doctor if you become concerned or take more than one extra dose of the medicine.

What if I forget to take it?

If you miss a dose accidentally, don't worry; just take it as soon as you remember to, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose of Tetralysal.

If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, you should skip the missed dose altogether.

Never take a double dose of medicine to try and make up for missing out a dose.

To ensure you do not forget to take your dose, it is best to take Tetralysal at the same time every day, so you get into the routine of taking it. Some people also find it helpful to set an alarm as a reminder to take it.

How long does it take for Tetralysal to work?

You will normally need to take Tetralysal for at least 8 weeks before your skin has cleared. However, many people start to notice an improvement after one week.

How long can I take Tetralysal for?

The typical treatment length for Tetralysal is between 8 and 12 weeks. It can sometimes be prescribed for longer depending on how your body responds to the treatment.

Does is stain teeth?

Lymecycline can permanently stain teeth due to the medicine building up in growing bones and teeth. However, this only happens in developing bones and teeth, which is why it is not used to treat children under the age of 12, or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

What should I do if Tetralysal does not clear my acne?

If you are taking Tetralysal for acne, your doctor will normally check your condition after 8 weeks. They may prescribe an alternative treatment if Tetralysal doesn’t seem to be working.

Is Tetralysal an antibiotic?

Tetralysal capsules contain lymecycline, which is an antibiotic.

Does Tetralysal affect the pill?

No, this medicine will not affect any contraception. However, if you are taking the pill and suffer vomiting or diarrhoea while taking Tetralysal, the contraceptive pill may be less effective. Read the information that comes with your contraceptive pill for what to do if you vomit or have diarrhoea.

Will my acne return if I stop taking Lymecycline?

If you stop your treatment prematurely, it is likely that your acne symptoms could return. You should always complete your treatment course to reduce the likelihood of an acne relapse.

Can lifestyle changes help with acne?

You can reduce the risk of acne by limiting the use of makeup and cosmetic products, removing makeup before you go to bed, exercising regularly, showering straight after and washing your hair regularly.

Does Lymecycline cause thrush?

Antibiotics can give some people thrush, which is a fungal infection. This is because antibiotics kill the regular bacteria that helps to prevent thrush from occurring. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you get thrush symptoms while using Tetralysal.

How severe should my acne be to take Tetralysal?

Tetralysal is normally prescribed to treat moderate to severe acne on the face, neck or back. Because it is an oral medicine, it can work to treat larger areas more efficiently than using topical treatments.

Can I drink Alcohol whilst taking Lymecycline?

Yes, there are no harmful interactions between Alcohol and Lymecycline, it is safe to drink alcohol whilst taking Tetralysal.

Does Tetralysal cause any side effects?

The most common side effects when taking tetralysal include, nausea, stomach pains, headaches, diarrhoea. The side effects should subside after a couple of weeks once your body starts to get used to the treatment.

How does Tetralysal compare to Accutane?

Accutane is a very potent acne treatment and is highly effective at treating severe acne. It can also be used to treat persistent moderate acne that has not responded to other treatments. It is unlikely that you will be prescribed accutane if you have not first tried other treatments such as Tetralysal first. 

Tetralysal Serious Side Effects

Common side effects from taking Tetralysal can be found on the main product page.

In rare cases, people can experience more serious side effects as a result of taking this medicine.

If you get any of the below, you should stop taking the medicine immediately and call a doctor:

  • Your skin becomes sensitive to sunlight
  • You have pale stools, dark urine or the whites of your eyes turn yellow (could be symptoms of a liver problem)

Some people may also experience a severe allergic reaction to Tetralysal. If any of the below symptoms occur, you should either call 999 or go to A&E immediately as you might require urgent treatment in hospital:

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

This list of side effects may not be exhaustive. Please refer to the Patient information leaflet that will come with your prescription for complete details.

Tetralysal Warnings and drug interactions

Tetralysal may interact with other medicines, which could impact the drug's effectiveness.

Before you start using the medicine, inform your doctor if you are using any of the following medications:

  • Blood thinners
  • Iron supplements
  • Supplements that contain aluminium, bismuth, calcium, magnesium or zinc
  • Diuretic tablets
  • Epilepsy medicines
  • Antacids
  • Quinapril
  • Acne medicines that contain vitamin A

For more information on mediicnes that interact with Tetralysal Capsules.

Before taking any new medicines, you should always inform your doctor if you are currently taking any prescription or non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, supplements or vitamins.

Because Tetralysal can cause visual disturbances, it is not advised that you drive or operate machinery if you experience this side effect.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Tetracyclines such as Tetralysal (Lymecycline) are not usually prescribed to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your should always inform your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant while taking Lymecycline. 

Your doctor will assess your condition and weigh the benefits against the risks of you taking Lymecycline during pregnacy and breastfeeding

Tetralysal Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Lymecycline

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

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Written byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Published on: 12/10/2020

Updated on: 20/08/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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