Tetracycline is used to treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in addition to other types of infections. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is commonly used and is part of the tetracycline antibiotics class of medications. Tetracycline has been around since its discovery in 1948 by Benjamin Duggar. In the early 1950’s there was litigation among several companies that claimed rights to patent the antibiotic. There are some side affects of using this antibiotic so some people may need to consider alternative treatment because of the side affects or because it is not effective on a particular strain of bacteria.
Tetracycline was the focus of the “antibiotics litigation” that lasted from the early 1950’s to the early 1980’s and it resulted in Pfizer licensing to Cyanamid and later letting Bristol-Myers in. This antibiotic can treat MRSA but is more commonly used to treat the following:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Rickettsia)
- Q Fever (Coxiella)
- Chlamydis (Lymphogranuloma venereum)
- Ulcers from bacteria
- Lyme disease
- Anthrax prevention
- Skin infections
- Genital infections
- Urinary infections
This antibiotic is known by other names, which include Sumycin, Tetracyn, and Panmycin. Tetracycline comes in liquid and in capsules. Long lasting Tetracycline is well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and has outstanding tissue penetration. This antibiotic should not be taken with food, especially dairy products. Usually this antibiotic is not recommended for children under 8 years old. One of the things that make this antibiotic different than others is that it is absorbed in the bone.
For maximum effectiveness and to prevent resistant bacteria from developing, it is important to follow administration directions. When this Tetracycline is taken for MRSA, it may be suspended if it is not effective or because of severe side affects. When this occurs alternative treatments will be needed.
Most people are not going to have side effects that will be serious enough or frequent enough to affect the use of Tetracycline. These are some of the common side affects of Tetracycline:
- Black hairy or inflamed tongue
- Blurred vision
- Loose stools, rectum swelling or itching
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
More serious side effects include the following:
- Severe allergic reaction
- Breathing problems
- Swelling around the neck or face
- Vaginal irritation or discharge
- Purple patches under skin
- Infant with bulging soft spot
- Severe headache
Any symptoms that become worrisome or if there are other health issues, a healthcare professional should be contacted.
There are other antibiotics, besides Tetracycline that are effective in treating MRSA and they will be prescribed when this antibiotic is not effective. Some infections will be treated with surgical procedures that will safely drain the infect fluid or pus from a wound. Sometimes with advanced infections, the infected tissue will need to be removed to prevent further spread of the bacteria.
Treatment with Tetracycline for MRSA can be effective and commonly has few side affects.