In venereal disease when coexistent syphilis is suspected, a dark-field examination should be done before treatment is started and the blood serology repeated monthly for at least four months.
In long-term therapy, periodic laboratory evaluations 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.
Barbiturates, carbamazepine, and phenytoin decrease the half-life of doxycycline.
The concurrent use of tetracycline and 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 the carcinogenic potential of doxycycline have not been conducted. However, there has been evidence of oncogenic activity in rats in studies with related antibacterial, 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 (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.
Pregnancy Category D:
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies on the use of doxycycline in pregnant 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.8
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 56 [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.9
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.10
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.11 Because of the potential for 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 to 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, and inflammatory lesions (with monilial overgrowth) in the anogenital region, and pancreatitis. Hepatotoxicity has been reported. These reactions have been caused by both the oral and parenteral administration of tetracyclines. Rare instances of esophagitis and esophageal ulcerations have been reported in patients receiving capsule and tablet forms of drugs in the tetracycline class. Most of these patients took medications immediately before going to bed. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Skin: Maculopapular and erythematous rashes, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and erythema multiforme have been reported. 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.)
Hypersensitivity Reactions: Urticaria, angioneurotic edema, anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid purpura, serum sickness, pericarditis, and exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus.
Blood: Hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, and eosinophilia have been reported with tetracyclines.
Other: Intracranial hypertension (IH, pseudotumor cerebri) has been associated with the use of tetracyclines. (See PRECAUTIONS-General.)
When given over prolonged periods, tetracyclines have been reported to produce brown-black microscopic discoloration of the thyroid gland. No abnormalities of thyroid function are known to occur.
In case of overdosage, discontinue medication, treat symptomatically and institute supportive measures. Dialysis does not alter serum half-life, and it 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.
Adults: The usual dose of oral doxycycline is 200 mg on the first day of treatment (administered 100 mg every 12 hours or 50 mg every 6 hours) followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg/day. The maintenance dose may be administered as a single dose or as 50 mg every 12 hours. 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 per kg of body weight divided into two doses on the first day of treatment, followed by a maintenance dose of 2.2 mg per 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.
Acute epididymo-orchitis caused by N. gonorrhoeae: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for at least 10 days.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 300 mg a day in divided doses for at least 10 days.
Uncomplicated urethral, endocervical, or rectal infection in adults caused by Chlamydia trachomatis: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for at least 7 days.
Nongonococcal urethritis caused by C. trachomatis and U. urealyticum: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for at least 7 days.
Acute epididymo-orchitis caused by C. trachomatis: 100 mg, by mouth, twice a day for at least 10 days.
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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