- 1) Doxycycline, like other tetracycline-class antibiotics, can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If any tetracycline is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking these drugs, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus and treatment stopped immediately.
ORACEA should not be used during pregnancy (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy).
- 2) The use of drugs of the tetracycline class during tooth development (last half of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood up to the age of 8 years) may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray-brown). This adverse reaction is more common during long-term use of the drug but has been observed following repeated short-term courses. Enamel hypoplasia has also been reported. Tetracycline drugs, therefore, should not be used during tooth development unless other drugs are not likely to be effective or are contraindicated.
- 3)All tetracyclines form a stable calcium complex in any bone-forming tissue. A decrease in fibula growth rate has been observed in premature human infants given oral tetracycline in doses of 25 mg/kg every 6 hours. This reaction was shown to be reversible when the drug was discontinued.
Results of animal studies indicate that tetracyclines cross the placenta, are found in fetal tissues, and can cause retardation of skeletal development on the developing fetus. Evidence of embryotoxicity has been noted in animals treated early in pregnancy (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy section).
Pseudomembranous colitis has been reported with nearly all antibacterial agents and may range from mild to life-threatening.
Therefore, it is important to consider this diagnosis in patients who present with diarrhea subsequent to the administration of antibacterial agents.
Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon and may permit overgrowth of clostridia. Studies indicate that a toxin produced by Clostridium difficile is a primary cause of "antibiotic-associated colitis".
If a diagnosis of pseudomembranous colitis has been established, therapeutic measures should be initiated. Mild cases of pseudomembranous colitis usually respond to discontinuation of the drug alone. In moderate to severe cases, consideration should be given to management with fluids and electrolytes, protein supplementation, and treatment with an antibacterial drug clinically effective against Clostridium difficile colitis.
The anti-anabolic action of the tetracyclines may cause an increase in BUN. While this is not a problem in those with normal renal function, in patients with significantly impaired function, higher serum levels of tetracycline-class antibiotics may lead to azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acidosis. If renal impairment exists, even usual oral or parenteral doses may lead to excessive systemic accumulations of the drug and possible liver toxicity. Under such conditions, lower than usual total doses are indicated, and if therapy is prolonged, serum level determinations of the drug may be advisable.
Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn reaction has been observed in some individuals taking tetracyclines. Although this was not observed during the duration of the clinical studies with ORACEA, patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (tanning beds or UVA/B treatment) while using ORACEA. If patients need to be outdoors while using ORACEA, they should wear loose-fitting clothes that protect skin from sun exposure and discuss other sun protection measures with their physician.
Safety of ORACEA beyond 9 months has not been established.
As with other antibiotic preparations, use of ORACEA may result in overgrowth of non-susceptible microorganisms, including fungi. If superinfection occurs, ORACEA should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Although not observed in clinical trials with ORACEA, the use of tetracyclines may increase the incidence of vaginal candidiasis.
ORACEA should be used with caution in patients with a history of or predisposition to candidiasis overgrowth.
Bacterial resistance to tetracyclines may develop in patients using ORACEA. Because of the potential for drug-resistant bacteria to develop during the use of ORACEA, it should be used only as indicated.
Tetracyclines have been associated with the development of autoimmune syndromes. Symptoms may be manifested by fever, rash, arthralgia, and malaise. In symptomatic patients, liver function tests, ANA, CBC, and other appropriate tests should be performed to evaluate the patients. Use of all tetracycline-class drugs should be discontinued immediately.
Tetracycline class antibiotics are known to cause hyperpigmentation. Tetracycline therapy may induce hyperpigmentation in many organs, including nails, bone, skin, eyes, thyroid, visceral tissue, oral cavity (teeth, mucosa, alveolar bone), sclerae and heart valves. Skin and oral pigmentation has been reported to occur independently of time or amount of drug administration, whereas other pigmentation has been reported to occur upon prolonged administration. Skin pigmentation includes diffuse pigmentation as well as over sites of scars or injury.
Bulging fontanels in infants and benign intracranial hypertension in adults have been reported in individuals receiving tetracyclines. These conditions disappeared when the drug was discontinued.
Information for Patients
See Patient Package Insert that accompanies this Package Insert for additional information to give patients.
- Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn reaction has been observed in some individuals taking tetracyclines, including doxycycline. Patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (tanning beds or UVA/B treatment) while using doxycycline. If patients need to be outdoors while using doxycycline, they should wear loose-fitting clothes that protect skin from sun exposure and discuss other sun protection measures with their physician. Treatment should be discontinued at the first evidence of sunburn.
- Concurrent use of doxycycline may render oral contraceptives less effective (see Drug Interactions).
- Autoimmune syndromes, including drug-induced lupus-like syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, vasculitis and serum sickness have been observed with tetracycline-class antibiotics, including doxycycline. Symptoms may be manifested by arthralgia, fever, rash and malaise. Patients who experience such symptoms should be cautioned to stop the drug immediately and seek medical help.
- Patients should be counseled about discoloration of skin, scars, teeth or gums that can arise from doxycycline therapy.
- Take ORACEA exactly as directed. Increasing doses beyond 40 mg every morning may increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by other antibacterial drugs in the future.
- It is recommended that ORACEA not be used by pregnant or breast feeding women. (see Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility, Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers sections).
- It is recommended that ORACEA not be used by individuals of either gender who are attempting to conceive a child (see Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility, and Pregnancy sections).
Periodic laboratory evaluations of organ systems, including hematopoietic, renal and hepatic studies should be performed. Appropriate tests for autoimmune syndromes should be performed as indicated.
- 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 tetracycline-class drugs in conjunction with penicillin.
- The concurrent use of tetracycline and methoxyflurane has been reported to result in fatal renal toxicity.
- Absorption of tetracyclines is impaired by bismuth subsalicylate, proton pump inhibitors, antacids containing aluminum, calcium or magnesium and iron-containing preparations.
- Doxycycline may interfere with the effectiveness of low dose oral contraceptives. To avoid contraceptive failure, females are advised to use a second form of contraceptive during treatment with doxycycline.
- There have been reports of pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension) associated with the concomitant use of isotretinoin and tetracyclines. Since both oral retinoids, including isotretinoin and acitretin, and the tetracyclines, primarily minocycline, can cause increased intracranial pressure, the concurrent use of an oral retinoid and a tetracycline should be avoided.
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
False elevations of urinary catecholamine levels may occur due to interference with the fluorescence test.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Doxycycline was assessed for potential to induce carcinogenesis in a study in which the compound was administered to Sprague-Dawley rats by gavage at dosages of 20, 75, and 200 mg/kg/day for two years. An increased incidence of uterine polyps was observed in female rats that received 200 mg/kg/day, a dosage that resulted in a systemic exposure to doxycycline approximately 12.2 times that observed in female humans who use ORACEA (exposure comparison based upon area under the curve (AUC) values). No impact upon tumor incidence was observed in male rats at 200 mg/kg/day, or in either gender at the other dosages studied. Evidence of oncogenic activity was obtained in studies with related compounds, i.e., oxytetracycline (adrenal and pituitary tumors) and minocycline (thyroid tumors).
Doxycycline demonstrated no potential to cause genetic toxicity in an in vitro point mutation study with mammalian cells (CHO/HGPRT forward mutation assay) or in an in vivo micronucleus assay conducted in CD-1 mice. However, data from an in vitro assay with CHO cells for potential to cause chromosomal aberrations suggest that doxycycline is a weak clastogen.
Oral administration of doxycycline to male and female Sprague-Dawley rats adversely affected fertility and reproductive performance, as evidenced by increased time for mating to occur, reduced sperm motility, velocity, and concentration, abnormal sperm morphology, and increased pre- and post-implantation losses. Doxycycline induced reproductive toxicity at all dosages that were examined in this study, as even the lowest dosage tested (50 mg/kg/day) induced a statistically significant reduction in sperm velocity. Note that 50 mg/kg/day is approximately 3.6 times the amount of doxycycline contained in the recommended daily dose of ORACEA for a 60-kg human when compared on the basis of AUC estimates. Although doxycycline impairs the fertility of rats when administered at sufficient dosage, the effect of ORACEA on human fertility is unknown.
Pregnancy Category D
(see WARNINGS section). Results from animal studies indicate that doxycycline crosses the placenta and is found in fetal tissues.
(see WARNINGS section).
Labor and Delivery
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 infants from doxycycline, ORACEA should not be used in mothers who breastfeed. (see WARNINGS section).
ORACEA should not be used in infants and children less than 8 years of age (see WARNINGS section). ORACEA has not been studied in children of any age with regard to safety or efficacy, therefore use in children is not recommended.