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Generic Name: Tetracycline hydrochloride
Product Name: Achromycin


Achromycin is used for the treatment of infections caused by the following:

Gram negative micro-organisms:

  • Haemophilus ducreyi (chancroid)
  • Pasteurella pestis & tularensis
  • Bartonella bacilliformis
  • Bacteroides sp
  • Vibrio comma & fetus

Brucella sp. Miscellaneous micro-organisms:

  • Richettsiae (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus fever and the typhus group, Q fever, rickettsial pox, tick fever),
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • agents of psittacosis
  • agents of lymphogranuloma venereum and granuloma inguinale
  • Borrelia recurrentis.

Tetracycline may also be used for the treatment of the following infections provided laboratory testing indicates appropriate sensitivities:

Gram negative mico-organisms:

  • Escherichia coli
  • Haemophilus influenzea
  • Klebsiella sp
  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Shigella sp
  • Mimi sp
  • Herallea sp

Gram positive micro-organisms: Streptococcus sp, Staphlycoccus aureus. When penicillin is contraindicated, tetracyclines are alternative antibiotic agents for infections due to:

  • Treponema pallidum & pertenue (syphilis & yaws)
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Clostridium sp
  • Bacillus anthracis.

Tetracyclines may be used as adjunctive therapy for severe acne. Oral and topical tetracyclines may be used to treat inclusion conjunctivitis.


Tetracylcine is bacteriostatic. It is thought to exert its effect through protein synthesis inhibition.

A variety of gram positive and negative bacteria are susceptible to tetracyclines. The drugs in the tetracycline class have similar antimicrobial spectra, and resistance to one tetracycline is likely to extend to other drugs in the class. Tetracycline is rapidly though incompletely absorbed from the gut. Food, milk, antacids and cations (divalent & trivalent) impair absorption. Most of the absorbed dose is eliminated unchanged in urine and bile, any additional absorbed drug is metabolised in the liver. Protein binding ranges between 24-65% Peak serum levels after a single 250 mg dose are achieved in 2-4 hours.

Dose advice

Streptococcal infections

Adults: 1-2 g per day, in 4 equally divided doses.

Children >8yrs: 25-50 mg/kg, in 4 equally divided doses.


500 mg, four times daily, for three weeks. Accompanied by streptomycin: 1 g intramuscularly twice daily the first week, and once daily for the second week.


30-40 g in equally divided doses, over a period of 10-15 days.

Impaired renal function

Dose should be decreased by reduction of actual dose and frequency between doses.


Schedule 4

Common side effects

  • Anorexia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysphagia
  • Enterocolitis
  • Rashes
  • Photosensitivity
  • Superinfection: antibiotic use may be associated with overgrowth of non-susceptible organisms (e.g. fungi). In the event of superinfection, the antibiotic should be ceased and appropriate therapy started.

Uncommon side effects

  • Dermatitis
  • Anogenital inflammatory lesions (with monilial overgrowth)
  • Raised BUN levels
  • Benign intracranial hypertension, including bulging fontanelle in infants.

For further information talk to your doctor.

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 2 May, 2008


Created by: myVMC