Doxycycline (Low Dose)


Common brand names: Periostat


Description: Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum, tetracycline-type antibiotic.


Dental Uses: Doxycycline may be prescribed in a low dosage for up to nine months as an adjunctive therapy to dental scaling and root planing to shrink periodontal pockets and to arrest bone loss in adults with periodontal disease.


The typical dose is 20 milligrams twice each day. Doxycycline (and all tetracyclines) must not be ingested with dairy products (milk, yogurt), antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepto-Bismol), or iron and zinc supplements because these products greatly inhibit the absorption of tetracyclines from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream.


Concerns and possible side effects: This is a fairly new drug, and so far the typical levels of tetracycline side effects (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea) have been very low (no more than a sugar pill).


Doxycycline and all tetracyclines should not be prescribed to children under 8 years or to pregnant women, because they can permanently stain the teeth of the growing child or fetus.


Also, severe sunburn (photosensitivity) can occur in up to 10 percent of patients prescribed this drug (or any tetracycline) if adequate measures of sun protection (avoiding prolonged sun exposure and using sunscreens) are not undertaken.

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