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Tigecycline

By Hans P. Schlecht, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine ; Christopher Bruno, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine

Tigecycline is the only antibiotic in an antibiotic class called glycylcyclines, which are related to tetracyclines.

Tigecycline works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins they need to grow and multiply.

This drug is effective against many resistant bacteria, including those with resistance to tetracyclines. However, the risk of dying is higher with tigecycline than with other antibiotics. Thus, tigecycline is used only if no alternatives are available. Tigecycline is given intravenously.

Tigecycline

Common Uses

Some Side Effects

Complicated abdominal infections and complicated skin infections due to susceptible bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus including those resistant to methicillin (MRSA), and anaerobes

Gastrointestinal upset

Sensitivity to sunlight

Permanent staining of teeth in the fetus if used late in pregnancy or in children under 8 years of age

A higher risk of death than other antibiotics (thus tigecycline is used only if no alternatives are available)

Use of Tigecycline During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

When taken during pregnancy, tigecycline, like tetracyclines, may have harmful effects on tooth and bone development in the fetus, but sometimes the benefits of treatment may outweigh the risks.

Whether tigecycline is safe to use during breastfeeding is unknown.

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