Serious and Rare Reactions to Tetracycline

Possible Serious Tetracycline Side Effects

There are a number of side effects that can occur with tetracycline that indicate something serious. If you experience any of these side effects, stop the tetracycline and call your healthcare provider. These side effects may include:
 
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloody stools
  • Unusual headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained rash
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Feeling tired.
     

Rare Tetracycline Side Effects

There are other tetracycline side effects that can occur. These rare side effects occur in less than 1 percent of patients. It is difficult to tell whether these side effects are because of the medication or something else.
 
Some of these possible tetracycline side effects include but are not limited to:
 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Anemia
  • Irritation of the esophagus (esophagitis)
  • Irritation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • Ulcers of the esophagus
  • Increased pressure in the skull (intracranial hypertension)
  • Ringing ears (tinnitus)
  • Worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus symptoms (lupus or SLE for short)
  • A reduced number of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia)
  • Tongue swelling (glossitis)
  • Serious intestinal infections (enterocolitis)
  • Vaginal yeast infections.
     

Tetracycline Side Effects: Final Thoughts

It is possible that you may experience some or none of the side effects with tetracycline discussed above. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects or develop something that "just does not seem right" while taking tetracycline. While it may not be a tetracycline side effect, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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