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Why is this medication prescribed?
Demeclocycline is used to treat infections caused by bacteria includingpneumonia and other respiratory tract infections;; certain infections of the skin, eye, lymphatic, intestinal, genital, and urinary systems; and certain other infections that are spread by ticks, lice, mites, and infected animals. It is also used along with other medications to treat acne. Demeclocycline is also used to treat plague and tularemia (serious infections that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack). Demeclocycline can also be used in patients who cannot be treated with penicillin to treat certain types of food poisoning and anthrax (a very serious infection that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack), Demeclocycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.
Antibiotics such as demeclocycline will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
How should this medicine be used?
Demeclocycline comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or four times a day. Drink a full glass of water with each dose. Take demeclocycline on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Do not take demeclocycline with food, especially dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take demeclocycline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Demeclocycline is also sometimes used to treat syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH; condition in which the body produces too much of a certain natural substance that causes the body to retain water). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking demeclocycline,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to demeclocycline, tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in demeclocycline tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take, especially anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), and penicillin. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Be aware that antacids containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium, calcium supplements, iron products, and laxatives containing magnesium interfere with demeclocycline, making it less effective. Take demeclocycline 2 hours before or6 hours after antacids, calcium supplements, and laxatives containing magnesium. Take demeclocycline 2 hours before or4 hours after iron preparations and vitamin products that contain iron.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lupus (condition in which the immune system attacks many tissues and organs including the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys), or kidney or liver disease.
- You should know that demeclocycline may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections). Talk to your doctor about using another form of birth control.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking demeclocycline, call your doctor immediately. Demeclocycline can harm the fetus.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Demeclocycline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Tell your doctor right away if you get a sunburn.
- You should know that when demeclocycline is used during pregnancy or in babies or children up to age 8, it can cause the teeth to become permanently stained. Demeclocycline should not be used in children under age 8 unless your doctor decides it is needed.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Demeclocycline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Changes in skin or mouth color
- Throat irritation
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Inflammation of the end of the penis
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- Blurred vision, seeing double, or loss of vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Peeling or blistering skin
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Swelling of your legs, ankles, or feet
- Decreased urination
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Watery or bloody stools, stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- A return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
Demeclocycline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to demeclocycline.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking demeclocycline.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the demeclocycline, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.