1. About lymecycline
Lymecycline is an antibiotic. It's used mainly for spots (acne).
Lymecycline is only available on prescription. It comes as capsules that you swallow.
2. Key facts
- For acne, it's usual to take lymecycline once a day.
- Common side effects are feeling sick (nausea), stomach pain, diarrhoea and headaches. But these tend to be mild and short-lived.
- You can drink alcohol while taking lymecycline.
- Lymecycline is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
- Lymecycline is not suitable for children under the age of 12 years. It can build up in growing teeth and permanently stain them.
- The brand name for lymecycline is Tetralysal 300.
3. Who can and can't take lymecycline
Lymecycline can be taken by adults and children over the age of 12 years.
Lymecycline isn't suitable for some people. To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to lymecycline or any other medicine in the past
- have kidney problems
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- have liver problems
- have an autoimmune disease called lupus
- have myasthenia gravis - a rare muscle-weakening disease
4. How and when to take it
For acne, it's usual to take 1 capsule of lymecycline once a day, usually in the morning. Each capsule contains 408mg of lymecycline.
When you take it for other infections, follow your doctor or pharmacist's instructions.
How to take it
Swallow the capsule whole, along with a glassful of water (a medium-sized glass - 200ml).
You can take this medicine with or without food. But you're less likely to feel sick if you have it with food.
Carry on taking this medicine until the course is completed, even if you feel better.
If you stop your treatment early, your problem could come back.
If you forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next dose.
In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as normal.
Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one. And never take 2 doses at the same time.
If you forget doses often, you could set an alarm to remind you.
You can also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.
What if I take too much?
Taking an extra dose of lymecycline by accident is unlikely to cause any harm.
Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you're worried or you take more than 1 extra dose.
5. Side effects
Like all medicines, lymecycline can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.
Common side effects
These common side effects happen in more than 1 in 100 people.
Keep taking the medicine, but tell your doctor if the side effects bother you or don't go away:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- stomach pain
Serious side effects
Serious side effects are rare.
Stop taking lymecycline and call a doctor straight away if you get:
- pale poo with dark pee, yellow skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow (this can be a warning sign of liver problems)
- your skin becomes very sensitive to the sun
Serious allergic reaction
It's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to lymecycline.
Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if:
- you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- you're wheezing
- you get tightness in the chest or throat
- you have trouble breathing or talking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling
You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.
These are not all the side effects of lymecycline.
For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.
6. How to cope with side effects
What to do about:
- feeling sick - try taking lymecycline with or after food to see if that helps ease your symptoms. It may also help if you avoid rich or spicy food while you're taking this medicine.
- stomach pain - try to rest and relax. Putting a heat pad or covered hot water bottle on your stomach may also help. If you're in a lot of pain, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.
- diarrhoea - drink plenty of water or other fluids to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- headaches - make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, are safe to take with lymecycline.
7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Lymecycline is not normally recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ask your doctor if there's another safer antibiotic that you can take.
For more information about how lymecycline can affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS) website.
Non-urgent advice: Tell your doctor if you're:
- trying to get pregnant
8. Cautions with other medicines
There are some medicines that don't mix well with lymecycline.
Tell your doctor if you're taking these medicines before starting lymecycline:
- supplements containing aluminium, bismuth, calcium, magnesium or zinc
- indigestion remedies (antacids)
- iron supplements
- quinapril, a medicine for high blood pressure or heart failure
- acne medicines containing vitamin A, such as isotretinoin
- a blood thinner, such as warfarin
- diuretic tablets that make you pee more, such as furosemide
- medicines for epilepsy, such as phenytoin or carbamazepine
Mixing lymecycline with herbal remedies and supplements
There are no known problems with taking herbal remedies with lymecycline.
But tell your doctor if you're taking any supplements containing aluminium, bismuth, calcium, magnesium or zinc.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.
9. Common questions
How does lymecycline work?
How long does it take to work?
What if I don't get better?
How does lymecycline compare with other antibiotics?
Will it affect my contraception?
Will it affect my fertility?
Will it give me thrush?
Does it stain teeth?
Can I drive or ride a bike?
Can I drink alcohol with it?
Is there any food or drink I need to avoid?
Can lifestyle changes help my acne?
Page last reviewed: 23/11/2018
Next review due: 23/11/2021