Tetracycline is a broad spectrum antibacterial antibiotic, which is why it has had great acceptance and good results in pathologies that have become resistant to other drugs.
This class of antibiotic was used indiscriminately, generating bacterial resistance over time in some people, preventing it from exerting its antibacterial effect effectively.
For this reason, bacteria that have developed this type of resistance to tetracyclines are a problem for the environment, since it increases the risk of unbalancing and leading to fatal outcomes in human health.
The main function of tetracycline is to prevent and destroy the growth and formation of bacteria in a specific area of the body, hindering their growth; this happens thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
This process is carried out by tetracycline, shortening the supply of the proteins necessary to keep the bacteria alive, so their growth and proliferation in that area is stopped immediately .
Therefore, the infection and colonization of the bacteria is controlled and eliminated, preventing it from invading other tissues, increasing risks and likewise, the possibility of producing drug resistance. Tetracyclines are presented in various forms of administration, generating an immediate effect in the affected area and thus avoiding infectious recurrence.
The most common way to administer this medication is orally, it is presented by means of coated tablets and if the case warrants it due to its severity or promptness, it can be administered intravenously.
Pharmacokinetics of Tetracyclines
Let’s talk about the pharmacokinetics of Tetracyclines, which refers to the process that Tetracycline must undergo as it passes through the body, that is, we will see the journey from when Tetracycline is ingested until its elimination.
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Not all drugs have the same pharmacokinetic pattern, that is why it is important for medicine to know the way each one travels, likewise, it is determined through the knowledge of this process how to act safely with the administration in case of illness liver, kidney , among other situations that may be present.
Tetracyclines have the advantage of having a very rapid absorption and in turn, there is no loss of medication, this occurs at the gastric level once the drug is ingested.
The area in which this process occurs is specifically in the small intestine, occurring a concentration in the blood, required to exert its antibacterial effect in about three to six hours after its oral administration.
Tetracycline travels and is distributed very well through all the tissues of the body and as already mentioned, it binds in different proportions to plasma proteins, everything will depend on the kind of Tetracycline that is used.
Tetracycline has a predilection for bone tissue , which is why it is of choice in diseases that can affect this system. It is completely contraindicated in pregnancy because it has the particularity of being able to cross the placental barrier and likewise, the blood-brain barrier.
Removing the body of the Tetracycline is through urine, although due to its distribution throughout the body (as has already been mentioned) it occurs with the drug in the liver phenomenon called “enterohepatic circulation “, by what is also usually get traces of this medicine in the stool.
It should be noted that in the renal system Tetracyclines present a tubular reabsorption, everything will depend on the type of Tetracycline that is being used, since some tetracyclines have a short half-life of up to 3 hours and other tetracyclines have a half-life of up to 15 hours.
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This fact is important because it determines the half-life of the drug, which is vital for its dosage, as well as to act correctly in the event of poisoning or adverse effects thereof.
Mechanism of Action of Tetracyclines
The mechanism of action is the way in which the drug exerts its antibacterial effect, or in other words, the mechanism by which the drug exerts its antibacterial activity.
Tetracyclines act fundamentally as bacteriostatic drugs, it is an action that occurs with usual doses of tetracycline, although something in particular happens with this group of antibiotics and it is the fact that bactericidal effects can be obtained with tetracycline, only by adjusting its dose .
It has different mechanisms by which it is considered bacteriostatic, such as uncoupling the oxidative phosphotylation present in bacteria.
Likewise, they can produce the inhibition of protein synthesis in the bacterial ribosome , which would destroy the ability of the bacteria to multiply and prevent movement, then bacterial death would occur.
Studies carried out show that not only do tetracyclines act in these two ways mentioned, but they also have the ability to act on the bacterial cell membrane, producing changes in it, which would lose vital intracellular components and, therefore, lead to bacterial death.
Tetracyclines have the great advantage that the bacterial resistance produced by the inappropriate use of the drug is slow to appear, which is why they are drugs of choice for in-hospital use.
This is carried out to avoid losing the effect of this type of drug, promoting good use of it and avoiding cross-resistance with other antibiotics due to their indiscriminate use.
It is important to heed medical orders and strictly comply with the indications, especially when it comes to antibiotics; because over the years they have been used incorrectly causing bacterial resistance.
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For health professionals, this situation is of concern, because resistance has led to the use of drugs such as tetracycline in cases that could have been resolved with other types of antibiotics, but it cannot be due to acquired resistance to it.
Therefore, if a person becomes resistant to tetracyclines and, in turn, is resistant to other existing antibiotics, they are susceptible to infections that are difficult to attack and that could lead to fatal outcomes.
If people became aware that the use of antibiotics is delicate and health professionals indicated this type of medication only if it is strictly necessary, future problems would be avoided against agents that develop resistance and absolute effectiveness with the use of antibiotics.
But the reality is different and it is of great concern, since there is increasing resistance to broad-spectrum antibiotics, including those for hospital use.
Trade names of Tetracyclines
The tetracyclines, are produced under a large number of commercial brands, among which are; “Sumicyn”, “Tetracym”, “Panacym”, among others. This compound is also used as a base to create other semisynthetic drugs that have four naphthalene rings on the main compound atom.The milligrams contained in each tablet will depend directly on the presentation of the trademark. It is always advisable to buy the official brands of the drug before the generic presentation brands, since the effect will not be achieved at the expected speed.
Use of Tetracycline
The Tetracycline is used to treat multiple diseases and skin conditions like acne where its spread and advance directly associated with the proliferation of bacteria in the body or affected area.
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It is indicated to treat conditions of the respiratory, gastric, urinary, genital and soft tissue systems that have been induced by the presence of ” Gram Positive” and “Gram Negative” bacteria, among which anaerobic or aerobic bacteria can be found.
Because it is an antibiotic, it must be administered under strict medical surveillance in the same doses as indicated, it is important to continue highlighting this action throughout the article to highlight its importance and begin the prevention of resistance to this class of drugs.
The type of presentation of tetracyclines is in capsules and its administration is orally (the most common form), its intake should be done two to four times a day.
During the use of this medicine there are actions or care to follow so that its antibacterial activity is not affected, such as ingesting it on an empty stomach, that is, one hour before or two hours after eating any food.
It is important that the oral administration of this medicine is done only with water, likewise, the capsule should be swallowed with a full glass of water.
It is vitally important that tetracycline is not taken or mixed with milk or dairy products. And as a final point, you must respect the schedule and be very strict in the dose, you should not take doses of more or less than that indicated by the treating doctor.
Other Uses of Tetracyclines
Tetracyclines, despite being antibiotics, can be used for other non-bacterial diseases such as Lyme disease and Malaria, so their use is not limited only to bacteria.
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Precautions to be taken with the use of tetracyclines
Among the precautions that must be taken into account with the use of tetracyclines is the most important of all: informing the treating physician if there has been any event of allergy to tetracyclines at any time or inheriting them in close relatives.
In case of taking other medications, the list of them should be informed to the treating physician, since they could interfere with the antibacterial action of tetracycline and not exert its correct effect.
Medicines that contain magnesium, such as, for example, the wide range of antacids that exist, cannot be used together with tetracyclines because they induce them to lose antibacterial action.
The same case happens with vitamins that contain iron in their composition, therefore, they should be taken at separate intervals of at least two hours before or six hours later; so as not to interfere with the antibacterial effect of Tetracycline .
Products or drugs that contain Zinc should not be mixed with tetracyclines, so it is recommended to take tetracycline two hours or more after ingesting the drug with Zinc.
Special care must be taken with the intake of tetracyclines in patients with diseases, such as lupus erythematosus, liver and kidney diseases.
Likewise, it is vitally important to inform the doctor if there is a suspicion of a pregnancy or if it has already been confirmed and tetracycline is being ingested; since it has been shown in studies that this type of antibiotic causes harmful effects or fetal damage.
Tetracyclines produce photosensitivity, so it is necessary to be very well informed about these effects in case the person has to be exposed during treatment to prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Therefore, if it were the case, precautions such as the use of sunscreen, glasses or umbrellas should be taken to avoid skin damage from the use of this type of antibiotics.
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The use of tetracyclines is limited in children under eight years of age, so we must be aware of the type of family to which the antibiotic drug that is prescribed for children belongs and ask the risks-benefits they produce.
In the case of tetracyclines, it tends to permanently stain the teeth, which is one of the drawbacks that the use of this drug in children would bring. Of course, the treating doctor will determine if it is necessary to use it despite the risks.
Important information to consider about Tetracycline
As is the case with all drugs and especially antibiotics, they cannot be administered by means of self-medication , since there would be no improvement but allergies or hypersensitivity to the formula could occur or it is simply not the appropriate indication for the condition that is being presented.
No medicine containing Tetracycline should be administered if you know or suspect an allergy or hypersensitivity to this compound, including Doxycycline and Minocycline .
If the use of Tetracycline is to treat sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea , it should also be notified if you have another additional pathology such as syphilis or if there are suspicions of its existence, with which the relevant studies will be indicated.
Another of the guidelines to follow is during the breastfeeding period, where it has already been mentioned that it is contraindicated, since tetracyclines directly affect the development of the baby’s bones and teeth.
The remaining tetracycline of the treatment must be discarded , if the medicine has expired it must also be discarded since it should not be administered after its expiration date, its renal effects would be fatal.
Like the wide range of existing antibiotics, it can also cause gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and other types of irritation digestive system conditions, among other ailments related to the antibiotic.
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Antimicrobial Spectrum: Tetracycline Dose
In the usual doses, tetracycline can produce an in-vitro effect , that is, a bacteriostatic effect. However, in high concentrations the bactericidal effect is achieved almost 100% efficiency .
In modern pharmacology, Tetracycline is also considered a drug when it comes into contact and reacts with other compounds such as Mycoplasmas belonging to bacteria of the order ” Gram Positive (+)” , being more effective in bacteria such as Bacilli belonging to the order “Gram Negative (-)”.
We must bear in mind that, through incomplete absorption of the drug through the intestinal tube, large local concentrations are reached; which leads to dysbacteriosis, translating as the proliferation of other bacteria such as yeasts thanks to the fall of resistant agents.
Method of administration of Tetracyclines
Tetracycline must be administered strictly as the treating physician has indicated, that is, said administration should not be modified for any reason unless it is due to adverse effects of the drug.
As we mentioned before, it is best to ingest the drug with water and in a fasting state, since its absorption will be better, if you prefer to eat something before the administration of the drug, you must wait 2 or 3 hours to be able to ingest the drug.
As in other medicines, the dose will be calculated through the relationship of the patient’s weight and the number of milligrams administered for each kilogram of weight, thus establishing the correct dose as 0.05mg / kg.
In addition, the amount can vary by the type of pathology that is presented. The greater amount equivalent to 500 mg will always be prescribed, only changing the frequency with which it will be administered throughout the day . If the infection is very strong, up to 1 gram of tetracycline can be administered per day.
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The resistance of this drug is caused by the presence of plasmids and is a hereditary and transferable trait, that is, it is a natural and biological condition that some organisms have to these compounds.
Another reason for the development of resistance to Tetracycline is the resistance that bacteria can form after being exposed to the drug for a long time, either due to poor medication or misuse of the substance.
In more serious cases, the resistance that can develop is due to mutation of the organisms that are being treated with the medication , luckily it is very rare, unless it is administered for Streptococcus bacteria .
How does Tetracycline work against acne?
The Tetracycline works by stopping the growth of bacteria that cause acne . It also has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it helps the acne to be less inflamed, preventing it from becoming infected easily.
This drug is used to treat severe or moderate cases of acne, although it is also often used for mild inflammatory acne, which can be difficult to eradicate. It is worth mentioning that the other antibiotics have in their active principles, some agent belonging to Tetracycline , avoiding Isotretinoin .
Why is Tetracycline special for use in cases of acne?
Tetracyclines exert in cases of bacterial acne, not only the bacteriostatic action on the bacteria, but also prevents their reproduction, so the recurrence of acne due to that bacterium decreases considerably.
Another benefit offered by tetracyclines in their use against acne is the anti-inflammatory capacity it has , helping the skin to recover, improving inflammatory processes and promoting better and faster healing, which would generate fewer scars.
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In addition to the above described, it should be noted that tetracycline has three special drugs used against acne, so there will be much more alternatives and allies that can fight against this condition that is so aesthetically worrisome for those who suffer from it.
These drugs are tetracycline (generic), minocycline and doxycycline , which act practically immediately against the causative agent of infection that causes acne. Improvements will be noticed from week 2 of starting treatment with tetracyclines.
The changes that will be experienced are a decrease in pustules, lesions in the area where the acne is located, loss of redness due to inflammation, a decrease in new acne outbreaks.
You only have to respect the schedules and strictly comply with the treatment, as well as know the interactions and precautions with the taking of this type of drugs to ensure that everything is in order and the benefits that it offers against acne can be obtained.
The time that is required to eliminate acne by tetracyclines will depend on the degree of damage that the skin presents as a result of mild, moderate or severe acne. In general, it is a treatment that can take a few months, but everything will depend on the response that the body itself offers to the treatment.
The continuous evaluation of the treatment for the pertinent adjustments is essential, likewise, the realization of blood studies to determine the values of the antibiotic in blood and the correct hepatic and renal function.
Gastrointestinal problems may also occur that the treating physician must anticipate with the respective corresponding medication, as the case may be, or healthy eating recommendations during the ingestion of the medication with tetracyclines.
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Side effects that can occur with the use of tetracyclines as an acne treatment
Like all currently existing drugs, side or adverse effects to its use will always exist, therefore, the risks-benefits must be evaluated in order to determine the doses and, therefore, whether or not its use is recommended.
The use of tetracyclines to improve or eradicate bacterial acne has great advantages, but also a myriad of disadvantages due to the length of the treatment and can cause serious effects with fatal outcomes.
It is said that one of the effects to be taken into account with prolonged use is those that it causes in the bones and teeth, in the former it makes them thinner and prone to important bone diseases and with respect to the teeth they lose their protective enamel. that provides their staining, fragility and early loss of teeth.
There are cases where the use of tetracyclines is contraindicated, such as those under the age of ten years, women of gestational age in search of a pregnancy or in an already established pregnancy, as already defined above.
During lactation it is another contraindication for tetracyclines due to the damage it can cause to the baby. That is why it is necessary to take other actions in case of bacterial acne during this period.
Other effects related to the long-term use of tetracyclines for bacterial acne are the gastrointestinal effects that it produces, as already mentioned in conventional antibacterial treatments with tetracyclines.
In general, skin eruptions are not frequent , since it is a drug that is being used precisely against them; But if it occurs, it may be an indication of a serious reaction occurring in the presence of the antibiotic in the body, so it is recommended to see a doctor immediately.
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The health personnel or treating physician should guide the person on the damage that can occur to the skin with sun exposure, since tetracyclines, especially doxycycline with greater intensity, produce photosensitivity , so burns may appear as a result of long exposures to the sun.
It is important to take precautions in the face of this fact, since it is a prolonged treatment with tetracyclines and this condition may intensify over time even more than when using this drug for other pathologies.
Skin problems can be generated due to this reaction, so it is advisable to use sunscreen and prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the skin directly for a long time, they are the same recommendations that were described in the use for other bacterial pathologies where tetracyclines are chosen as treatment .
Prolonged use of tetracyclines can affect the immune system, so it can be conducive to normal bacteria in our body starting the battle and causing damage or disease; as in the case of women with episodes of vaginal candidiasis as a result of the intake of this drug.
A complete medical history should be made where the family history of the person who will be treated for acne with tetracyclines is clearly exposed to determine if there are considerable risks that prevent the application of this type of action.
Among the circumstances that can occur in a hereditary way with the prolonged use of tetracyclines are diseases such as: Lupus erythematosus, liver or kidney disease; Likewise, it should be investigated in case of presenting headaches of great intensity as a result of the prolonged administration of tetracyclines against acne.
Intracranial hypertension can occur in fortuitous cases, as a result of prolonged use of tetracyclines, so immediate measures must be taken to guarantee the recovery of the person and avoid further damage.
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For this reason, the side effects of prolonged treatments with this drug should not be ignored, even if its benefits are expected and desired by people who suffer from this condition, such as bacterial acne.
Important Notes on Tetracyclines
Despite being a drug that crosses the brain barrier, it is not of choice in bacterial infections in this area, so, if it were the case, another more effective alternative should be studied for these health conditions.
It is important to note that there are people who can take this drug for a long time and not have any side effects of it, so each organism is unique and responds individually to the presence of any drug.
It is important to repeat that tetracyclines and other antibiotics cannot be administered without a medical order specifying the indications very well, because they can cause irreparable damage in case of allergic reactions; causing even the death of the person.
Likewise, its indiscriminate use should be avoided, since when it is needed due to resistance to other drugs or because it is the drug that comes closest to eliminating the type of bacteria that is affecting health, it will effect its effect in the same way correct without having made any resistance due to failures in previous treatments.
Antibiotics are not a game, they are drugs that must be administered with great care, so their use is restricted if there is not a good assessment and tests that indicate the need to act with such a drug in the presence of bacteria susceptible to it.
There are times when the symptoms of viral infections are confused with bacterial infections and due to the lack of carrying out blood tests to corroborate the diagnosis, antibiotics are used in vain, being able to avoid it, therefore the body is desensitized to the drug, losing action when its use is really necessary.
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Do not self-medicate is the motto that must be maintained, it must be observed and promoted especially in the case of antibiotics. For this reason, it is important to remember information.
The Tetracycline was called as a drug class “D”, ie has a high level of toxins and although very few people have been affected by this, it is important to always keep some caution, properly following the assigned treatment.
Interaction of tetracycline with other drugs
In order to determine the interactions of tetracyclines with other drugs, it is necessary to clarify that an interaction in drugs occurs by modifying their action in the presence of other drugs administered together.
There is talk of a synergistic type interaction when the effect of the drug, such as tetracycline in this case, increases, but it can occur and the antagonist-type effect is more common in which the action of tetracycline in the presence of other drugs administered together decreases, so it is necessary to know these interactions well for a good treatment to emerge.
As a main measure, it should be noted that before starting a treatment with Tetracycline, it is important that you are not under medication with other drugs such as Penicillin, including the entire family of this group, since both can react due to the antibacterial effect of Tetracycline negatively.
To better understand the negative reaction mentioned in the previous paragraph, we can cite the mechanism by which both antibiotic drugs exert their effect.
Tetracycline acts by exerting a bacteriostatic effect on the bacteria, inhibiting their development; On the other hand, Penicillins act on the bacterial wall in a logarithmic way, therefore, they should not be mixed because there would be no synergism between them.
This section once again emphasizes the antagonistic action that occurs in tetracycline as a result of administration in conjunction with antacids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, among others.
Similarly, tetracycline can interfere antagonistically in the presence of oral contraceptives, reducing its hormonal effect and therefore protection against pregnancy.
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Tetracyclines can produce synergistic effects in cases where drugs from the anticoagulant family are used together, causing their effect to be prolonged and, in turn, reducing the production of vitamin “K” by intestinal bacteria.
Bicarbonate destroys the action of tetracycline, so in cases of overdose it is necessary to use it to alkalize the urine and promote rapid exit from the body (alkaline pH).
The use of anesthetics such as methoxyflurane in the presence of tetracyclines significantly increases the risks of suffering kidney damage or nephrotoxicity as a result of this interaction.
Tetracyclines should not be administered together with dairy products, since consumption together exerts an antagonistic effect on the antibiotic.
How does this type of effect arise in tetracycline in the presence of dairy products?
Tetracycline binds to calcium and iron, forming through this union insoluble chelates that decrease the bioavailability of the drug and, therefore, its bacteriostatic action.
It is recommended when the use of dairy is unavoidable (including small amounts such as those used in coffee with milk) that are made separately, one hour before taking the medicine a small amount of dairy can be consumed, or if it is the case two hours after taking the drug, a small amount of dairy could be consumed.
It is for this reason that it is necessary to inquire about interactions with other medications as well as with food, since a simple change in diet can produce a correct action of the medication and significantly improve the infectious picture that is occurring.
There are circumstances in which due to ignorance the benefit that a drug such as tetracyclines can provide in the body is wasted when used in the correct way, therefore, it does not hurt to study in depth each of the interactions to try to do the right thing. treatment as correctly as possible.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.