Lymecycline capsules (Tetralysal)

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Lymecycline is an antibiotic. Make sure you continue to take the capsules until you finish the full course prescribed.

Take each of your doses with a glass of water - this will stop the capsules from causing irritation to your throat.

The most common side-effects are headache, feeling sick, tummy ache, and diarrhoea.
Type of medicineA tetracycline antibiotic
Used forBacterial infections; acne
Also calledTetralysal®
Available asCapsules

Lymecycline is an antibacterial medicine. This means that it stops infections caused by germs (bacteria). It is prescribed as a treatment for a number of different types of infection, including chest and sinus infections, sexually transmitted infections, and infections in or around the mouth. It is also prescribed to treat acne.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking lymecycline it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If so, you should not take lymecycline.
  • If you are under 12 years of age. Lymecycline should not be given to children.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you have an inflammatory condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (also called lupus, or SLE), or if you have a condition causing muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis. Lymecycline can make these conditions worse.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about lymecycline, and will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
  • Take lymecycline exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is likely you will be asked to take 1-2 capsules twice a day if you are being treated for an infection, and one capsule daily if you are being treated for acne. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you which dose is right for you, and this information will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what was said to you. Each capsule contains 408 mg of lymecycline. This is equivalent to 300 mg of a similar medicine called tetracycline. Depending on which brand of capsules you have been prescribed, either of these strengths may be printed on the label.
  • Try to take your doses around the same time of day each day. This will help you remember to take them. If you are taking more than one dose each day, space your doses evenly throughout the day.
  • The capsules can cause throat irritation. To prevent this, swallow them with a large drink of water, and do not open or chew the capsules. Try to avoid taking the capsules just before lying down or at bedtime. Lymecycline can be taken either with or without food.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, but do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
  • Your course of treatment could last a week or so for an acute infection, or for at least eight weeks if you are taking it for acne. It is important that you keep taking the capsules regularly until the course is finished (unless you are told to stop sooner by a doctor).
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with lymecycline, as a number of 'over-the-counter' remedies can interfere with it. In particular, do not take indigestion remedies, or supplements containing iron, magnesium, or zinc at the same time as you take lymecycline. This is because lymecycline combines with these things, which makes it less effective in fighting infection. If you need to take an antacid or any of the supplements mentioned, make sure you do not take them within two hours (either before or after) of taking lymecycline.
  • Some people develop thrush (redness and itchiness in the mouth or vagina) after taking a course of an antibiotic. If this happens to you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  • Lymecycline can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Avoid strong sunlight and sunbeds until you know how your skin reacts.
  • This antibiotic can stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are due to have any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the more common ones associated with lymecycline. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your medicine, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common lymecycline side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)
What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick, tummy (abdominal) painStick to simple foods - avoid fatty or spicy meals
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If this continues or is severe, speak with a doctor
HeadacheDrink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, speak with your doctor

Important: lymecycline can occasionally cause allergic reactions, such as a skin rash. Speak with a doctor as soon as possible if this happens to you.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the capsules, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Tetralysal® 300; Galderma (UK) Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2016.
  • British National Formulary; 72nd Edition (Sep 2016) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
995 (v27)
Last Checked:
29/11/2016
Next Review:
29/11/2019
The Information Standard - certified member

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