How Do Tetracyclines Work?

Reviewed on 5/3/2021

What Are Tetracyclines and How Do They Work?

Tetracyclines are a class of antibiotics that work against a variety of infections. Their anti-microbial actions have been reported even beyond their well-known effects on gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial infections caused by Chlamydiae, Mycoplasmas, Rickettsiae, and even some protozoal parasites. Although their action across many bacterial infections is very effective, they are not effective against viral infections.

Tetracycline interferes with the ability of the bacteria to produce certain vital proteins required for bacterial growth. They target the ribosomal machinery within the bacteria that assembles proteins from amino acids. Due to this mode of action, tetracyclines inhibit bacterial growth rather than killing them. Tetracyclines prohibit protein synthesis in both human and bacterial cells. However, bacteria transport tetracyclines to their cell, whereas human cells do not. Human cells, therefore, are spared from the adverse effects of tetracycline.

How Are Tetracyclines Used?

Tetracyclines are mainly used to treat infections of:

Tetracyclines are also prescribed for:

What Are Side Effects of Tetracyclines?

Some of the side effects of tetracyclines include:

If the above side effects don’t seem to resolve, you should inform your physician.

Some of the severe side effects that require immediate medical attention include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor. Also, irrational use of antibiotics can increase your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.


Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer

What Are Names of Tetracycline Drugs?

Names of Tetracycline drugs include:

Medscape. Tetracyclines.

WebMD. Tetracycline HCL.

Medline Plus. Tetracycline.

NCBI. Tetracycline Antibiotics: Mode of Action, Applications, Molecular Biology, and Epidemiology of Bacterial Resistance.

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