As with other antibacterial drugs, use of doxycycline hyclate tablets may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi. If superinfection occurs, doxycycline hyclate tablets should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.
Incision and drainage or other surgical procedures should be performed in conjunction with antibacterial therapy, when indicated.
Doxycycline offers substantial but not complete suppression of the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium strains.
Doxycycline does not suppress P. falciparum’s sexual blood stage gametocytes. Subjects completing this prophylactic regimen may still transmit the infection to mosquitoes outside endemic areas.
Prescribing doxycycline hyclate tablets in the absence of proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Patients taking doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis should be advised:
- that no present-day antimalarial agent, including doxycycline, guarantees protection against malaria.
- to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using personal protective measures that help avoid contact with mosquitoes, especially from dusk to dawn (e.g., staying in well-screened areas, using mosquito nets, covering the body with clothing, and using an effective insect repellent).
- that doxycycline prophylaxis:
— should begin 1 to 2 days before travel to the malarious area,
- should be continued daily while in the malarious area and after leaving the malarious area,
- should be continued for 4 further weeks to avoid development of malaria after returning from an endemic area,
- should not exceed 4 months.
All patients taking doxycycline should be advised:
- to avoid excessive sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light while receiving doxycycline and to discontinue therapy if phototoxicity (e.g., skin eruption, etc.) occurs. Sunscreen or sunblock should be considered. (See WARNINGS.)
- to drink fluids liberally along with doxycycline to reduce the risk of esophageal irritation and ulceration. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
- that the absorption of tetracyclines is reduced when taken with foods, especially those which contain calcium. However, the absorption of doxycycline is not markedly influenced by simultaneous ingestion of food or milk. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS.)
- that the absorption of tetracyclines is reduced when taking bismuth subsalicylate. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS.)
- that the use of doxycycline might increase the incidence of vaginal candidiasis.
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs, including doxycycline hyclate tablets should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When doxycycline hyclate tablets are prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by doxycycline hyclate tablets or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibacterial drugs, which usually ends when the antibacterials are discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibacterial drugs, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibacterial drug. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
In venereal disease, when co-existent syphilis is suspected, dark field examinations should be done before treatment is started and the blood serology repeated monthly for at least 4 months.
In long-term therapy, periodic laboratory evaluation of organ systems, including hematopoietic, renal, and hepatic studies, should be performed.
Because tetracyclines have been shown to depress plasma prothrombin activity, patients who are on anticoagulant therapy may require downward adjustment of their anticoagulant dosage.
Since bacteriostatic drugs may interfere with the bactericidal action of penicillin, it is advisable to avoid giving tetracyclines in conjunction with penicillin.
Absorption of tetracyclines is impaired by antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, and iron-containing preparations.
Absorption of tetracyclines is impaired by bismuth subsalicylate.
Barbiturates, carbamazepine, and phenytoin decrease the half-life of doxycycline.
The concurrent use of tetracycline and Penthrane® (methoxyflurane) has been reported to result in fatal renal toxicity.
Concurrent use of tetracycline may render oral contraceptives less effective.
False elevations of urinary catecholamine levels may occur due to interference with the fluorescence test.
Long-term studies in animals to evaluate carcinogenic potential of doxycycline have not been conducted. However, there has been evidence of oncogenic activity in rats in studies with the related antibacterial drugs, oxytetracycline (adrenal and pituitary tumors), and minocycline (thyroid tumors).
Likewise, although mutagenicity studies of doxycycline have not been conducted, positive results in in vitro mammalian cell assays have been reported for related antibacterial drugs (tetracycline, oxytetracycline).
Doxycycline administered orally at dosage levels as high as 250 mg/kg/day had no apparent effect on the fertility of female rats. Effect on male fertility has not been studied.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies on the use of doxycycline in pregnant women. The vast majority of reported experience with doxycycline during human pregnancy is short-term, first trimester exposure. There are no human data available to assess the effects of long-term therapy of doxycycline in pregnant women, such as that proposed for treatment of anthrax exposure. An expert review of published data on experiences with doxycycline use during pregnancy by TERIS – the Teratogen Information System – concluded that therapeutic doses during pregnancy are unlikely to pose a substantial teratogenic risk (the quantity and quality of data were assessed as limited to fair), but the data are insufficient to state that there is no risk.1 A case-control study (18,515 mothers of infants with congenital anomalies and 32,804 mothers of infants with no congenital anomalies) shows a weak but marginally statistically significant association with total malformations and use of doxycycline anytime during pregnancy. Sixty-three (0.19%) of the controls and fifty-six (0.3%) of the cases were treated with doxycycline. This association was not seen when the analysis was confined to maternal treatment during the period of organogenesis (i.e., in the second and third months of gestation) with the exception of a marginal relationship with neural tube defect based on only two exposed cases.2
A small prospective study of 81 pregnancies describes 43 pregnant women treated for 10 days with doxycycline during early first trimester. All mothers reported their exposed infants were normal at 1 year of age.3
Nonteratogenic Effects: (See WARNINGS.)
The effect of tetracyclines on labor and delivery is unknown.
Tetracyclines are excreted in human milk; however, the extent of absorption of tetracyclines, including doxycycline, by the breastfed infant is not known. Short-term use by lactating women is not necessarily contraindicated; however, the effects of prolonged exposure to doxycycline in breast milk are unknown.4 Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from doxycycline, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. (See WARNINGS.)
Because of the effects of drugs of the tetracycline-class on tooth development and growth, use doxycycline in pediatric patients 8 years of age or less only when the potential benefits are expected to outweigh the risks in severe or life-threatening conditions (e.g., anthrax, Rocky Mountain spotted fever), particularly when there are no alternative therapies. (See WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Due to oral doxycycline’s virtually complete absorption, side effects of the lower bowel, particularly diarrhea, have been infrequent. The following adverse reactions have been observed in patients receiving tetracyclines:
Gastrointestinal: anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, glossitis, dysphagia, enterocolitis, inflammatory lesions (with monilial overgrowth) in the anogenital region, and pancreatitis. Hepatotoxicity has been reported rarely. These reactions have been caused by both the oral and parenteral administration of tetracyclines. Superficial discoloration of the adult permanent dentition, reversible upon drug discontinuation and professional dental cleaning has been reported. Permanent tooth discoloration and enamel hypoplasia may occur with drugs of the tetracycline class when used during tooth development. (See WARNINGS.) Rare instances of esophagitis and esophageal ulcerations have been reported in patients receiving capsule and tablet forms of the drugs in the tetracycline class. Most of these patients took medications immediately before going to bed. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Skin: toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, skin hyperpigmentation, maculopapular and erythematous rashes. Exfoliative dermatitis has been reported but is uncommon. Photosensitivity is discussed above. (See WARNINGS.)
Renal toxicity: Rise in BUN has been reported and is apparently dose related. (See WARNINGS.)
Immune: Hypersensitivity reactions including urticaria, angioneurotic edema, anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid purpura, serum sickness, pericarditis, exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction has been reported in the setting of spirochete infections treated with doxycycline.
Blood: Hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, and eosinophilia have been reported.
Other: Bulging fontanels in infants and intracranial hypertension in adults. (See WARNINGS.)
When given over prolonged periods, tetracyclines have been reported to produce brown-black microscopic discoloration of the thyroid gland. No abnormalities of thyroid function studies are known to occur.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In case of overdosage, discontinue medication, treat symptomatically and institute supportive measures. Dialysis does not alter serum half-life and thus would not be of benefit in treating cases of overdosage.
The usual dosage and frequency of administration of doxycycline differs from that of the other tetracyclines. Exceeding the recommended dosage may result in an increased incidence of side effects.
The usual dose of oral doxycycline is 200 mg on the first day of treatment (administered 100 mg every 12 hours) followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg/day. In the management of more severe infections (particularly chronic infections of the urinary tract), 100 mg every 12 hours is recommended.
For all pediatric patients weighing less than 45 kg with severe or life-threatening infections (e.g., anthrax, Rocky Mountain spotted fever), the recommended dosage is 2.2 mg/kg of body weight administered every 12 hours. Children weighing 45 kg or more should receive the adult dose. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS.)
For pediatric patients with less severe disease (greater than 8 years of age and weighing less than 45 kg), the recommended dosage schedule is 4.4 mg/kg of body weight divided into two doses on the first day of treatment, followed by a maintenance dose of 2.2 mg/kg of body weight (given as a single daily dose or divided into twice daily doses). For pediatric patients weighing over 45 kg, the usual adult dose should be used.
The therapeutic antibacterial serum activity will usually persist for 24 hours following recommended dosage.
When used in streptococcal infections, therapy should be continued for 10 days.
Administration of adequate amounts of fluid along with capsule and tablet forms of drugs in the tetracycline class is recommended to wash down the drugs and reduce the risk of esophageal irritation and ulceration. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
If gastric irritation occurs, it is recommended that doxycycline be given with food or milk. The absorption of doxycycline is not markedly influenced by simultaneous ingestion of food or milk.
Studies to date have indicated that administration of doxycycline at the usual recommended doses does not lead to excessive accumulation of doxycycline in patients with renal impairment.
Uncomplicated gonococcal infections in adults (except anorectal infections in men): 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for 7 days. As an alternate single visit dose, administer 300 mg stat followed in one hour by a second 300 mg dose. The dose may be administered with food, including milk or carbonated beverage, as required.
Uncomplicated urethral, endocervical, or rectal infection in adults caused by Chlamydia trachomatis: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for 7 days.
Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) caused by C. trachomatis or U. urealyticum: 100 mg by mouth, twice a day for 7 days.
Syphilis – early: Patients who are allergic to penicillin should be treated with doxycycline 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for 2 weeks.
Syphilis of more than one year’s duration: Patients who are allergic to penicillin should be treated with doxycycline 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for 4 weeks.
Acute epididymo-orchitis caused by N. gonorrhoeae: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for at least 10 days.
Acute epididymo-orchitis caused by C. trachomatis: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for at least 10 days.
For prophylaxis of malaria: For adults, the recommended dose is 100 mg daily. For children over 8 years of age, the recommended dose is 2 mg/kg given once daily up to the adult dose. Prophylaxis should begin 1 to 2 days before travel to the malarious area. Prophylaxis should be continued daily during travel in the malarious area and for 4 weeks after the traveler leaves the malarious area.
Inhalational anthrax (post-exposure):
ADULTS: 100 mg of doxycycline, by mouth, twice a day for 60 days.
CHILDREN: weighing less than 45 kg; 2.2 mg/kg of body weight, by mouth, twice a day for 60 days. Children weighing 45 kg or more should receive the adult dose.
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