Pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension) in adults has been associated with the use of tetracyclines. The usual clinical manifestations are headache and blurred vision. Bulging fontanels have been associated with the use of tetracyclines in infants. While both of these conditions and related symptoms usually resolve soon after discontinuation of the tetracycline, the possibility for permanent sequelae exists.
As with other antibiotic preparations, use of this drug may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi. If superinfection occurs, the antibiotic should be discontinued and appropriate therapy should be instituted.
Incision and drainage or other surgical procedures should be performed in conjunction with antibiotic therapy, when indicated.
Prescribing demeclocycline hydrochloride tablets in the absence of a 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.
Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn reaction has been observed in some individuals taking tetracyclines. Patients apt to be exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light should be advised that this reaction can occur with tetracycline drugs, and treatment should be discontinued at the first evidence of skin erythema. Concurrent use of tetracyclines with oral contraceptives may render oral contraceptives less effective (see Drug Interactions). Patients should be informed that demeclocycline hydrochloride tablets should be taken at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Unused supplies of tetracycline antibiotics should be discarded by the expiration date. Patients who are experiencing headache, dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, or blurred vision while on demeclocycline therapy, should be cautioned about driving vehicles or using hazardous machinery while receiving demeclocycline therapy (see WARNINGS).
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs, including demeclocycline hydrochloride tablets should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When demeclocycline hydrochloride 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 demeclocycline hydrochloride tablets or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, 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 antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
In venereal diseases when coexistent syphilis is suspected, darkfield examination 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, should be performed. All patients with gonorrhea should have a serologic test for syphilis at the time of diagnosis. Patients treated with demeclocycline hydrochloride should have a follow-up serologic test for syphilis after 3 months.
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 penicillins, it is advisable to avoid giving tetracycline-class drugs in conjunction with penicillin.
Concurrent use of tetracyclines with oral contraceptives may render oral contraceptives less effective.
The concurrent use of tetracyclines and methoxyflurane has been reported to result in fatal renal toxicity.
Absorption of tetracyclines is impaired by antacids containing aluminum, calcium or magnesium, and by iron-containing preparations.
Long-term studies in animals to evaluate carcinogenic potential of demeclocycline hydrochloride have not been conducted. However, there has been evidence of oncogenic activity in rats in studies with the related antibiotics oxytetracycline (adrenal and pituitary tumors) and minocycline (thyroid tumors).
Although mutagenicity studies of demeclocycline hydrochloride have not been conducted, positive results in in vitro mammalian cell assays (i.e., mouse lymphoma and Chinese hamster lung cells) have been reported for related antibiotics (tetracycline hydrochloride and oxytetracycline) (see WARNINGS; ANIMAL PHARMACOLOGY AND ANIMAL TOXICOLOGY).
Demeclocycline hydrochloride had no effect on fertility when administered in the diet to male and female rats at a daily intake of 45 times the human dose.
Results of animal studies indicate that tetracyclines cross the placenta, are found in fetal tissues, and can have toxic effects on the developing fetus (often related to retardation of skeletal development). Evidence of embryotoxicity has been noted in animals treated early in pregnancy.
The effect of tetracyclines on labor and delivery is unknown.
Tetracyclines are excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from the tetracyclines, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother (see WARNINGS).
The following reactions have been reported in patients receiving tetracyclines:
Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, glossitis, dysphagia, enterocolitis, pancreatitis, and inflammatory lesions (with monilial overgrowth) in the anogenital region, increases in liver enzymes, and hepatic toxicity has been reported rarely.
Rarely, hepatitis and liver failure have been reported. These reactions have been caused by both the oral and parenteral administration of tetracyclines.
Instances of esophageal ulcerations have been reported in patients receiving oral tetracyclines. Most of the patients were reported to have taken the medication immediately before lying down (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Skin: Maculopapular and erythematous rashes, erythema multiforme. Exfoliative dermatitis has been reported but is uncommon. Fixed drug eruptions and Stevens-Johnson syndrome have been reported rarely. Lesions occurring on the glans penis have caused balanitis. Pigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes has also been reported. Photosensitivity is discussed above (see WARNINGS).
Renal toxicity: Acute renal failure. Rise in BUN has been reported and is apparently dose related. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (see WARNINGS).
Hypersensitivity reactions: Urticaria, angioneurotic edema, polyarthralgia, anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid purpura, pericarditis, exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus-like syndrome, pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophilia.
Hematologic: Hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia and eosinophilia have been reported.
CNS: Pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension) in adults and bulging fontanels in infants (see PRECAUTIONS, General). Dizziness, headache, tinnitus, and visual disturbances have been reported. Myasthenic syndrome has been reported rarely.
Other: When given over prolonged periods, tetracyclines have been reported to produce brown-black microscopic discoloration of thyroid glands. No abnormalities of thyroid function studies are known to occur. Very rare cases of abnormal thyroid function have been reported.
Tooth discoloration has occurred in pediatric patients less than 8 years of age (see WARNINGS), and also has been reported rarely in adults.
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