The Independent Pharmacy

Lymecycline (Tetralysal) side effects: everything you need to know

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 7 Nov 2023

Tetralysal — the branded version of lymecycline — is one of the most popular and effective acne treatments available on the market.

Even so, it’s not suitable for everyone. In some cases, Tetralysal, which contains the active ingredient lymecycline, can cause side effects that will make you feel unwell or uncomfortable. In rare cases, lymecycline side effects caused by this medication can be more serious.

In this in-depth guide, we cover everything you need to know about lymecycline side effects. From common and serious side effects to how lymecycline mixes with other prescription medicines, you can use this information to help decide whether lymecycline is the right acne medication for you.

Tetralysal 300 Capsules
Tetralysal 300 Capsules
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Common lymecycline side effects

Not everyone will react to taking lymecycline in the same way. The majority of people taking the medication will not experience any negative side effects. A small minority, though, may experience an adverse reaction to taking the medication.

For an overview of how our customers have found using this acne medication, head over to our Tetralysal reviews page. Affecting just over one in 100 people, in general, the common side effects associated with lymecycline include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches

Although the common side effects listed above shouldn’t last long. If you are concerned, or the side effects last longer than you are comfortable with, it’s advisable to consult your doctor for further advice.

Lymecycline side effects: tiredness

Tiredness and fatigue can be side effects of taking lymecycline. However, it isn’t a common side effect, only affecting a small number of people who use this acne medicine.

According to this study, fatigue tends to affect patients who have been taking lymecycline for between 1-6 months and generally impacts female users more than male users.

Fatigue is a symptom that is found to be associated with a number of medications and, although it may be frustrating, the majority of the time, it is not a real concern.

If you are experiencing fatigue and you think it may be a result of taking lymecycline, it generally isn't anything to worry about. There are ways you can combat tiredness from prescription medicines, such as getting some exercise (even a brisk walk outside will help) or taking some caffeine. Alternatively, you can take lymecycline at night or just before bed, so that you don’t notice this particular side effect and it doesn’t impact your day.

However, if you are concerned at all, speak to your doctor for further guidance. They may suggest changing your dose, prescribing you an additional medication to counteract the tiredness from Tetralysal, or they may even recommend that you swap to another acne medication such as Oxytetracycline.

Lymecycline side effects: anxiety & depression

There have been some concerns in the past about the serious psychological effects and the mental health impact of some acne treatments, with some suggested links between the medication and depression (including suicidal thoughts).

However, these concerns have no scientific basis, and various studies have not found a connection between acne treatments and depression, with a suggestion that in these very rare cases where depression is found, it is more likely a result of the underlying condition itself.

According to the Patient Information Leaflet, in the list of lymecycline side effects, depression is listed. The frequency of this side effect cannot be estimated from the available data. Anxiety is not mentioned.

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression (or any other adverse psychological effects such as mood swings) and you are concerned at all, speak to your GP about how you are feeling. There are ways that how you’re feeling can be helped and treated moving forward.

Lymecycline side effects: dry skin & rash

In some cases, you may experience skin reactions as a side effect of taking Tetralysal. These may include dry skin, itching, redness, sensitivity to sunlight, or a rash.

On the whole, these side effects are nothing to worry about, and they will usually pass after a short time of taking the medication, as your body gets used to the drug.

Although unusual, if you do notice that your skin is particularly sensitive to sunlight during your course of treatment, take appropriate action. If you go out in the sun, protect your skin with a strong SPF sun cream, or cover up with clothing, and do not use sunbeds while you're taking lymecycline.

In some rare cases, a lymecycline side effects rash may be the result of an allergic reaction to the medicine. If you have any other symptoms of an allergic reaction to Tetralysal, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Serious Tetralysal side effects

When using lymecycline, serious side effects are extremely rare (affecting less than one in 100 people). These can include:

  • Visual impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Yeast infection (thrush)
  • Skin reactions (increased sensitivity to UV or sunlight)
  • Colitis (inflammation of the bowel)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Raised blood pressure (resulting in persistent headaches)
  • Liver problems

You should always speak to your GP or a healthcare professional immediately if you experience serious side effects like the ones we’ve listed above from any medicine, including Tetralysal.

If you experience any other serious side effects of lymecycline that we have not mentioned above, or your side effects are painful or long-lasting, it is always best to speak to a doctor. If you are ever in any doubt, check with a medical professional and they will be able to advise you further.

Allergic reactions to Tetralysal (Lymecycline)

Although rare, a very small number of people may have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to lymecycline, the active ingredient in Tetralysal.

You should not take Tetralysal if you are allergic to lymecycline, other tetracycline antibiotics (such as doxycycline), or any of the other ingredients of this medicine. You can find out more about the ingredients in Tetralysal in the Patient Information Leaflet, or on the Tetralysal product page here.

Signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction to Tetralysal include:

  • A rash
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling of the face, eyelids or lips
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest and/or throat
  • Wheezing

The symptoms listed above are all tell-tale signs of an allergic reaction to Tetralysal. If you experience any of these after taking the medication, you should seek attention from a medical expert immediately — either contact the emergency services or go straight to your local A&E.

How to cope with Tetralysal (Lymecycline) side effects

As we outlined above, the common side effects of lymecycline include nausea, headaches, stomach pain, and diarrhoea. After taking the medication, if you experience any of these side effects, there are simple steps you can take to help make yourself feel more comfortable.

Take with or without food

You can take Tetralysal on a full or empty stomach. If you are feeling sick after taking Tetralysal, you can try eating some food while taking the medication.

Alternatively, if you are taking Tetralysal with a meal (for example, breakfast), you can try taking the medication without food. Tetralysal affects people differently, so you may need to experiment to find what works best for you.

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water will ensure that you stay hydrated. Common signs of dehydration include urinating less (or your urine has a dark yellow colour), feeling dizzy, and a lack of energy.

Staying hydrated will also help you cope with lost fluids if you have diarrhoea as a result of taking Tetralysal.

Rest and relaxation

If you have stomach pain after taking Tetralysal, rest and relaxation can help. For example, placing a hot water bottle on your stomach may help; just remember to cover the hot water bottle with a towel when placing it next to your skin to avoid burning yourself.

Take painkillers or ibuprofen

Over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are safe to take at the same time as Tetralysal. If you have a headache, it’s fine to take a safe amount of paracetamol or ibuprofen (always follow the instructions as described in the packet).

As a rule, you should not combine Tetralysal and alcohol if you find that the medication is causing you headaches.

Can lymecycline cause depression?

A study by the British Journal of Dermatology found a link between depression and people being treated for acne in the UK.

This is because the skin condition has a physical effect on people’s appearance, which, in turn, can have an adverse effect on their emotional well-being.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that lymecycline can cause depression.

Can lymecycline cause weight gain?

Lymecycline is not known to cause weight gain, and it isn’t a listed side effect. It’s thought that antibiotic use in general may have such an effect, but this hasn’t been clearly demonstrated.

Can lymecycline cause hair loss?

Hair loss is another side effect that is often falsely associated with taking lymecycline. At the time of writing, there are no studies that show a conclusive link between people taking lymecycline and hair loss.

Taking Tetralysal (Lymecycline) with other medicines

Tetralysal is not suitable to take at the same time as some other prescription medicines. For example, you should talk to your doctor if you are also taking:

  • Indigestion tablets
  • Iron supplements
  • Diuretic tablets
  • Epilepsy medicines
  • Some herbal remedies and supplements

You should also consult with your doctor if you are taking supplements that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Aluminium
  • Bismuth
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

If you take any of the medications listed above or are taking supplements with any of the ingredients listed above, tell your doctor before taking Tetralysal. They will be able to advise on whether the acne medication is safe to use, or if you need to consider using a different treatment.


Tetralysal is a safe and effective acne medication, but using it may produce some side effects.

As with all medications, Tetralysal affects different people in different ways. If you are using other medications, Tetralysal may be unsuitable. For most other people, though, the medication will be safe, but there may be an adjustment period as your body gets used to taking it.

Tetralysal is available to buy from The Independent Pharmacy. All you need to do is fill in a questionnaire, which is short, simple and quick to do. Then, if the medication is safe for you to use, we will deliver Tetralysal straight to your door — in secure and discreet packaging — so you can start your treatment right away.


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