Medical uses and spectrum of activity
– Treatment of acne
– Treatment of cholera
– Treatment of brucellosis
– Treatment of plague
– Treatment of malaria
– Broad spectrum of antibiotic action
– Bacteriostatic activity against aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
– Exceptions: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus spp.
– Acquired resistance in many pathogenic organisms
– Useful in managing infections by certain intracellular bacterial pathogens

Anti-eukaryote use
– Activity against certain eukaryotic parasites
– Effective against dysentery caused by an amoeba
– Effective against malaria caused by a plasmodium
– Effective against balantidiasis caused by a ciliate

Use as a biomarker
Tetracycline hydrochloride used as a marker of bone growth in humans
– Incorporated into mineralizing bone and detected by fluorescence
– Double tetracycline labeling used to measure bone growth
– Used as a biomarker in wildlife to detect consumption of medicine-containing baits

Side effects
– Discoloration of permanent teeth, especially in children
– Inactivation by calcium, aluminum, iron, and zinc ions
– Skin photosensitivity
– Drug-induced lupus and hepatitis
– Breathing complications and anaphylactic shock in some individuals

History and society
– Tetracyclines discovered by Benjamin Minge Duggar in 1948
– Tetracycline antibiotic, chlortetracycline (Aureomycin), discovered in 1945
– Structure of Aureomycin elucidated in 1952 and published in 1954
– Tetracycline received FDA approval in 1954
Tetracycline can be identified in bones using ultraviolet light
– Nubian mummies from 350-550 A.D. showed patterns of fluorescence similar to modern tetracycline-labeled bone
– Price of tetracycline in the USA rose significantly from 2013 to 2015
– Tetracycline marketed under various brand names
– Tetracycline used in genetic engineering and research

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
tetracycline (noun)
a yellow crystalline broad-spectrum antibiotic CHNO produced by streptomyces or synthetically - 22 24 2 8 , also any of several chemically related antibiotics (as doxycycline)
Tetracycline (Wikipedia)

Tetracycline, sold under various brand names, is an oral antibiotic in the tetracyclines family of medications, used to treat a number of infections, including acne, cholera, brucellosis, plague, malaria, and syphilis.

tetracycline 2D skeletal
tetracycline 3D BS
Clinical data
Other namesTE/TET/TC/TCY
License data
  • AU: D
Routes of
By mouth
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
MetabolismNot metabolized
Elimination half-life8–11 hours, 57–108 hours (kidney impairment)
ExcretionUrine (>60%), feces
CAS Number
PubChem CID
PDB ligand
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.000.438 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass444.440 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • C[C@]1(c2cccc(c2C(=O)C3=C([C@]4([C@@H](C[C@@H]31)[C@@H](C(=C(C4=O)C(=O)N)O)N(C)C)O)O)O)O
  • InChI=1S/C22H24N2O8/c1-21(31)8-5-4-6-11(25)12(8)16(26)13-9(21)7-10-15(24(2)3)17(27)14(20(23)30)19(29)22(10,32)18(13)28/h4-6,9-10,15,25,27-28,31-32H,7H2,1-3H3,(H2,23,30)/t9-,10-,15-,21+,22-/m0/s1 checkY

Common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and loss of appetite. Other side effects include poor tooth development if used by children less than eight years of age, kidney problems, and sunburning easily. Use during pregnancy may harm the baby. It works by inhibiting protein synthesis in bacteria.

Tetracycline was patented in 1953 and was approved for prescription use in 1954. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. Tetracycline is available as a generic medication. Tetracycline was originally made from bacteria of the genus Streptomyces.

Tetracycline (Wiktionary)



From tetracyclic +‎ -ine.



tetracycline (countable and uncountable, plural tetracyclines) (abbreviated tet)

  1. (pharmacology, uncountable
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