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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Tetracyclines belong to the family of medicines called antibiotics. The topical ointment forms are used to treat infections of the skin. Meclocycline cream and the topical liquid form of tetracycline are used to help control acne. They may be used alone or with one or more other medicines that are applied to the skin or taken by mouth for acne.
Topical ointment forms of the tetracyclines are available without a prescription; however, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper use of these medicines for your medical problem. Meclocycline cream and the topical liquid form of tetracycline are available only with your doctor"s prescription.
Topical tetracycline is available in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For topical tetracyclines, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to topical tetracyclines or to any related antibiotics, such as chlortetracycline for the eye (e.g., Aureomycin); demeclocycline (e.g., Declomycin); doxycycline (e.g., Vibramycin); methacycline (e.g., Rondomycin); minocycline (e.g., Minocin); oxytetracycline (e.g., Terramycin); or tetracycline by mouth or by injection (e.g., Achromycin). In addition, if you are to use the cream form of meclocycline, tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to formaldehyde. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.
Pregnancy—Studies have not been done in humans. In studies in rats and rabbits, chlortetracycline and tetracycline topical preparations have not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems. However, studies in rabbits have shown meclocycline to cause a slight delay in bone formation.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether tetracycline topical preparations pass into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using any of these medicines and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.
Children—Tetracycline topical solution has been tested on a limited number of children 11 years of age or older and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults. Although there is no specific information about the use of topical chlortetracycline or topical meclocycline in children, they are not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than they do in adults.
Older adults—Many medicines have not been tested in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information about the use of topical tetracyclines in the elderly.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are using topical tetracyclines, it is important that your health care professional knows if you are using any other topical prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine that is to be applied to the same area of the skin.
Proper Use of This Medicine
For patients using the cream form or topical liquid form of this medicine for acne:
For patients using the cream form of this medicine for acne:
For patients using the topical liquid form of this medicine for acne:
For patients using the topical ointment form of this medicine:
Dosing—The dose of these medicines will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
For patients using either the cream form or the topical liquid form of this medicine for acne:
For patients using the topical ointment form of this medicine:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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:
Pain, redness, swelling, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
More common—For topical liquid form only
Dry or scaly skin; stinging or burning feeling
More common—For cream and topical liquid forms only
Faint yellowing of the skin, especially around hair roots
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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