Chlortetracycline : Therapeutic uses, Dosage & Side Effects

Chlortetracycline : Therapeutic uses, Dosage & Side Effects

Chlortetracycline is an tetracycline antibiotic. It was the first tetracycline to be identified.
Dose :
Route : Oral, IV, Topical
Onset of action : ?
Plasma Half-life : 5.6-9 hours
Duration of action : ?
Bioavailability : 30%
Plasma protein binding : 50-55%
Metabolism : Hepatic (75%)
Pregnancy risk category : D
Chemical formula : C22H23ClN2O8
IUPAC name : (4S,4aS,5aS,6S,12aR)-7-Chloro-4-(dimethylamino)-1,6,10,11,12a-pentahydroxy-6-methyl-3,12-dioxo-4,4a,5,5a-tetrahydrotetracene-2-carboxamide
Trade name : Aureomycin
Antibacterial spectrum : Chlortetracycline has been shown to be active against many bacteria.
Therapeutic uses : Chlortetracycline is indicated for treatment of bacterial infections.
In veterinary medicine, chlortetracycline is commonly used to treat conjunctivitis in cats.
Mechanism of action : Tetracyclines enter susceptible organisms via passive diffusion & by an energy-dependent transport protein mechanism unique to the bacterial inner cytoplasmic membrane. Tetracyclines concentrate intracellularly in susceptible organisms. The drugs bind reversibly to the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome. This action prevents binding of aminoacyl-t-RNA to the mRNA–ribosome complex, thereby inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis.
Side effects : Chlortetracycline can cause following side effects :

  • Irritative effects : Epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea. The irritative diarrhoea is to be distinguished from that due to superinfection.
  • Thrombophlebitis of the injected vein.
  • Phototoxicity (Distortion of nails occurs occasionally)
  • Antianabolic effect : Reduce protein synthesis and cause an overall catabolic effect. It induces negative nitrogen balance and can increase blood urea.
  • Increased intracranial pressure is noted insome infants.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions (infrequent) : Skin rashes, urticaria, glossitis, pruritus ani and vulvae, even exfoliative dermatitis have been reported. Complete cross sensitization is exhibited by different tetracyclines.
  • Superinfection : Tetracyclines are the most common antibiotics responsible for superinfections, because they cause marked suppression of the resident flora.
  • Teeth and bones : Tetracyclines have chelating property. Calcium-tetracycline chelate gets deposited in developing teeth and bone.

Drug Interactions : Chlortetracycline may interact with following drugs :

  • Acenocoumarol : Increase the anticoagulant activities
  • Acitretin, adapalene, or alitretinoin : Risk or severity of adverse effects can be increased
  • Al phosphate and hydroxide : Decrease the absorption of chlortetracycline
  • Mecillinam (amdinocillin), amoxicillin, and ampicillin : Decrease in therapeutic efficacy of these drugs
  • Atracurium besilate : Increase in neuromuscular blocking activities


  • Contraindicated in persons who have shown hypersensitivity to any of the Tetracyclines.
  • Tetracyclines should not be used in pregnant or breast-feeding women or in children less than 8 years of age.

For detailed query or in case of uncertainty, Always consult your doctor or pharmacist.

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