There are 11 antibiotics in tetracycline group, including: doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, methacycline and demeclocycline. Mentioned medications are commonly used tetracycline drugs. The whole group of tetracycline antibiotics is known to be broad spectrum. These antibiotic drugs can therefore be used against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria and microbes. Most common bacterial infections are still treated with tetracyclines, although some bacteria have become resistant to these drugs.
How Tetracyclines Work?
Tetracycline antibiotics are able to slow down the growth and progression of bacterial infection, by affecting genetic translation of pathogenic bacteria. As already mentioned, bacteria may become resistant to the effects of tetracyclines. Mechanism of bacterial resistance includes production of different enzymes, efflux of antibiotics outside the cell and ribosomal protection.
These antibiotics have proven to be efficient against bacterial infections of the sinuses, respiratory tract and the middle ear. Infections of the skin, especially acne and rosacea can be treated with tetracyclines. Urinary tract infections can also be resolved using these drugs. Tetracyclines are also found to be useful for the treatment of gonorrhea. Tetracycline antibiotics are still considered to be first line of defense against Chlamydia, Ricketsia, legionella, Brucella, spirochetes, Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. Doctors may also recommend taking tetracyclines in the treatment of cholera, since these drugs have proven to decrease the severity of the symptoms and also significantly shorten duration of the illness.
Make sure to use antibiotics exactly as they were prescribed to you. Try not to miss any dose, in order to prevent relapses of the infection and possible bacterial resistance.
Adverse Effects of Tetracyclines
Tetracyclines are considered to be relatively safe drugs and most side effects are of mild to moderate severity. People using these antibiotics may become sensitive to the sunlight or experience allergic reactions. Some patients may have troubles because of the upset stomach and others may have rare eye problems or severe headaches. Rare complication of tetracycline use may also be chemically driven liver damage, but this problem is noticed in people using too much of these antibiotics for a very long period of time.
These drugs should not be used in children younger than 8 years of age, because they could cause discoloration of the teeth. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid these antibiotics after 18 weeks of pregnancy, as well as breastfeeding moms. Patients suffering from kidney and liver diseases or from diabetes mellitus should not use these antibiotic drugs.