It's also used to treat infections such as:
- chest and sinus infections
- sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- infections in, or around, the mouth
Lymecycline works to kill bacteria by stopping them making the proteins that they need to survive.
Who can take lymecycline
Lymecycline can be taken by most adults and children over the age of 12.
Lymecycline is not 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
- have kidney problems
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
- have liver problems
- have an autoimmune disease called lupus
- have myasthenia gravis – a rare muscle-weakening disease
Dosage and strength
For acne, you'll usually take 1 capsule of lymecycline once a day, usually in the morning. Each capsule contains 408mg of lymecycline.
When you take it for infections, follow your doctor or pharmacist's instructions.
Always swallow the capsule whole, along with a full glass of water, while sitting or standing, as it's important the capsule does not get stuck in your throat as it could cause irritation. For this reason, do not take the capsules just before you go to bed.
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 at the usual time.
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 to take your medicines.
If you take too much
Taking an extra dose of lymecycline is unlikely to cause any harm. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you're worried or you take more than 1 extra dose.
Common side effects
These common side effects of lymecycline happen in more than 1 in 100 people. There are things you can do to help cope with them:
Keep taking the medicine, but tell your doctor if the side effects bother you or do not go away.
Serious side effects are rare, but stop taking lymecycline and call a doctor or contact 111 now if:
- you have dark pee, the whites of your eyes turn yellow or your skin turns yellow (this may be less obvious on brown or black skin) – this can be a sign of liver problems
- your skin becomes very sensitive to the sun
Serious allergic reaction
In rare cases, lymecycline may cause a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
These are not all the side effects of lymecycline. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
Lymecycline and pregnancy
Lymecycline is not recommended during pregnancy
It can affect the teeth and bone development in your baby.
Your doctor will be able to talk to you about prescribing a different antibiotic.
Lymecycline is not one of the preferred antibiotics to use while you're breastfeeding, however it might be OK to take. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.
We do not know how much lymecycline passes into breast milk. However, it is likely to be a small amount. It is best to use lymecycline for as short a time as possible when breastfeeding, ideally for no longer than 3 weeks.
There is a small chance that lymecycline can affect your baby's teeth and bone development when used for a long time. However, this is very unlikely to happen when babies have lymecycline through breast milk.
Contact your doctor, pharmacist, health visitor or midwife if:
- your baby is not feeding as well as usual or has an upset stomach
- your baby has a rash or oral thrush (a fungal infection in their mouth)
- you have any other concerns about your baby
Lymecycline and fertility
There's no evidence to suggest that taking lymecycline reduces fertility in either men or women.
Speak to a pharmacist or doctor before taking it if you're trying to get pregnant as they may recommend alternative treatment for you.
Cautions with other medicines
There are some medicines that can affect how lymecycline works.
Tell your doctor if you're taking any of these medicines before starting lymecycline:
- indigestion remedies (antacids)
- medicines which contain aluminium, bismuth, calcium, iron, kaolin, magnesium or zinc
- other antibiotics
- quinapril, a medicine for high blood pressure or heart failure
- acne medicines containing vitamin A, such as isotretinoin
- warfarin, a medicine that helps prevent your blood from clotting
- tablets that make you pee more (diuretics), such as furosemide
- medicines for epilepsy like phenytoin or carbamazepine
There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements with lymecycline. They're not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines. They're generally not tested for the effect they have on other medicines.
Tell your doctor if you're taking:
- any supplements that contain aluminium, bismuth, calcium, magnesium or zinc
- iron supplements
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