Tetracycline and its derivatives, such as chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, methacycline and lymecycline, are naturally occurring or semi-synthetic polyketide compounds that exhibit a well known broadspectrum antibacterial activity that interferes with prokaryotic protein synthesis at the ribosome level. In addition to this well known antibacterial activity these compounds also exhibit a variety of additional, less well known properties. Among them are separate and distinct anti-inflammatory properties. Tetracycline and related compounds have been shown to be effective chemotherapeutic agents in a wide variety of chronic inflammatory diseases and conditions. These include periodontitis, rosacea, acne, auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and protection of the central nervous system against trauma and neurodegenerative diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease. Tetracycline and related compounds appear to be beneficial for treatment of several chronic inflammatory airway diseases. Among them are asthma, bronchiectasis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, chemical induced lung damage and cystic fibrosis. The clinical use of tetracycline-type drugs in treatment of chronic airway inflammation is becoming a topic of intense interest. Recent findings in this area have led to an understanding of the myriad physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms of the inflammatory response and how this response may be controlled to limit damage to host cells and tissues. This review presents a brief summary of the recent research in the area of tetracycline and its derivatives in control of pulmonary inflammation.