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Oxytetracycline is a type of generic antibiotic, made by Intrapharm. It is used to treat various types of infection, including skin infections.

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One tablet consists of 250mg oxytetracycline dihydrate. They are taken according to the instructions of your prescriber. For acne, this is two tablets twice a day for 12 weeks.

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Oxytetracycline is a type of generic antibiotic, made by Intrapharm. It is used to treat various types of infection, including skin infections.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

07 December 2021
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 07 December 2021
Product information

Oxytetracycline is a type of treatment called an antibiotic. These are used to combat bacterial infections. Like all antibiotics, Oxytetracycline is only available to buy in the UK on prescription. This particular antibiotic medication is a broad-spectrum one, which means that it can be employed to treat a wide variety of ailments, including skin infections.

  1. Clears up infected acne
  2. Adept at tackling other infections too
  3. Simple to take once a day tablet

Acne is a condition which most people will go through during their teenage years. It is characterised by the appearance of spots, often in clusters. These can vary greatly in size, from very small blackheads or whiteheads, to large and uncomfortable pus-filled spots or cysts. Larger instances are sometimes painful and unpleasant to look at, and can sometimes lead to scarring on the skin.

The main contributing element in acne is a hormonal imbalance in the body. This is why it is so common during puberty, but settles down with age. Due to hormonal fluctuations, it is also a common occurrence in women who are in the earlier stages of pregnancy, or are expecting a period.

In some cases, however, acne can be induced by a bacterial infection. This is caused by a bacteria called propionibacterium acnes, and occurs when sebaceous glands in the skin overproduce sebum. Usually, sebum is a helpful substance which helps to keep the hair and skin looking healthy. But this type of bacteria can feed on sebum, and release harmful substances which then inflame the sebaceous glands. Redness, swelling and acne then results.

Oxytetracycline works by limiting the growth and spread of the bacteria. It does this by preventing it from producing the self-sustaining proteins required to maintain its presence. As a result, the bacteria is then weakened and neutralised by the body’s natural defences. This eases symptoms and allows the area affected to properly heal.

Contact your GP if you are experiencing persistent acne, or if you think you may have an infection. They will examine your symptoms and decide on the most suitable medication option, if required.

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Page last reviewed:  07/12/2021


You should follow the directions provided as closely as possible when using this item, so that you can lower the risk of side effects and get the most out of your course of treatment. Prior to use, read the patient information leaflet provided for more detailed instructions.

  1. Take as directed.
  2. For acne, the typical dose may one or two 250mg tablets taken once a day for up to three months.
  3. Your doctor may choose to split your dose into two daily administrations.
  4. Swallow tablets whole with water.
  5. Take either one hour before food, or two hours after.
  6. Do not take immediately before bedtime.
  7. Never exceed the prescribed amount.
  8. If you miss a dose, do not double up on your next one. Simply take it when you remember if possible, before continuing the course as before.
  9. See your GP if your symptoms have not improved by the end of the course.

This is not a comprehensive list of directions. For a more detailed guide, please refer to the leaflet supplied with the medication.

Download PDF

Page last reviewed:  07/12/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Oxytetracycline 250mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Cease taking this treatment and let your doctor know right away if you notice any signs of: an allergic reaction, such as skin rashes, itching, swelling of the face or tongue, fever or chest pain; raised pressure in the skull including headache and visual problems; or sensitivity to sunlight.

You will also need to tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects: diarrhoea; feeling or being sick; stomach upsets; loss of appetite; discolouration of tooth enamel; difficulty swallowing; swelling or ulceration of the gullet; pseudomembranous colitis; inflammation of the pancreas; changes in the numbers and types of your blood cells, which may be indicated by bruising, nosebleeds, sore throats, infections, excessive tiredness, breathlessness during physical exertion or abnormal paleness of the skin; redness or colour changes in the skin; flaky skin; thrush or irritation around your bottom and genital area; or changes in liver or kidney function such as difficulty passing urine or jaundice.

More detailed information can be located in the patient information leaflet.

Taking it with other medicines

Your prescriber needs to know if you are taking: any type of penicillin; vitamin A; retinoids such as acitretin, isotretinoin and tretinoin; oral contraceptives; anticoagulants; diuretics; kaolin-pectin and bismuth subsalicylate; drugs for diabetes such as insulin, glibenclamide or gliclazide; methoxyflurane, or any other anaesthetic or if you are due to have an operation; antacids; or other medicines containing aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium, bismuth or zinc salts.

Conditions to look out for

Do not take this treatment if you have: allergies to this or similar antibiotics; liver or kidney problems; or lupus. It may also not be suitable for those with myasthenia gravis or inhibited liver or kidney function.

Page last reviewed:  07/12/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Oxytetracycline 250mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes, as it is not thought that alcohol will interact with it.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes, provided that you experience no side effects which inhibit your ability to do so. If you do, avoid driving and contact your doctor.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

It is not recommended that you use this treatment while pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult your doctor or family planning nurse prior to use.

How should I store it?

Keep it safe, and in an environment below 25°C.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

This product contains: oxytetracycline dihydrate, magnesium stearate, maize starch, hydroxypropylcellulose (E463), colloidal silica, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, sunset yellow (E110), quinoline yellow (E104), titanium dioxide (E171), methylhydroxypropylcellulose (E464), and purified talc (E553).

Do not take it if you are allergic to any of the above substances.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You will need a prescription in order to be able to buy Oxytetracycline from any UK pharmacy.

Is it right for me?

See your doctor if you are experiencing new acne symptoms. They will be able to help you find the right type of treatment, and initiate a prescription for you.

If you have taken antibiotics for acne before and they have not worked, you should see your GP.

Page last reviewed:  07/12/2021 is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 3256 customers on TrustPilot!
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