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Demeclocycline is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, including those that cause acne. This medication is known as a tetracycline antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
Take this medication by mouth, usually 2 to 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Demeclocycline works best when taken on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Take each dose with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. For this reason, do not take it right before bedtime.
If stomach upset occurs, ask your doctor if you can take this medication with food.
Take this medication 2 to 3 hours before or after taking any medications containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium. Some examples include quinapril, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), vitamins/minerals, and antacids. Dairy products (e.g., milk, yogurt), calcium-enriched juice, sucralfate, bismuth subsalicylate, iron, and zinc are also included. These products bind with demeclocycline, preventing its full absorption.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. When treating children over 8 years of age, the dosage is also based on weight. For the treatment of infection, children should not take more than 600 milligrams of this medication per day.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
If you are taking this medication to treat an infection, continue to take it until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens. If you are using this medication to treat SIADH, you should notice an increase in the amount of urine within 5 days.
Diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or rectal discomfort may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: darkening of the skin and other areas of the body (e.g., lips, inside of the mouth), difficult/painful swallowing, unusual increase in the amount of urine (except for the expected increase in urination if you are treating SIADH), unusual decrease in the amount of urine or no urine, unusual thirst, weakness, unusual tiredness, brown/gray tooth discoloration.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: hearing changes (e.g., ringing in the ears, decreased hearing), easy bruising/bleeding, new signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat, fever, chills), stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
Tetracycline drugs such as demeclocycline may rarely cause a serious increase in pressure inside the skull (intracranial hypertension-IH). The risk of this side effect is greater for women of childbearing age who are overweight or who have had IH in the past. If IH develops, it usually goes away after demeclocycline is stopped; however, there is a chance of permanent vision loss or blindness. Get medical help right away if you have: persistent/severe headache, vision changes (such as blurred/double vision, decreased vision, sudden blindness), persistent nausea/vomiting.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, skin sores/blisters, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, new or worsening swelling/pain in the joints, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Side Effects section.
Before taking demeclocycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other tetracycline medication (e.g., doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, problems swallowing, esophagus problems (e.g., esophageal ulcers, hiatal hernia, acid reflux disease-GERD), lupus, a certain hormone imbalance called "water diabetes" (diabetes insipidus).
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Demeclocycline may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Get medical help right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using demeclocycline.
This medication should not be used in children younger than 8 years of age because it may cause permanent tooth discoloration and other problems. Tooth discoloration has also occurred in older children and young adults. Consult your doctor for more information.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Taking outdated demeclocycline can result in serious illness. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
See also How to Use section.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: retinoid medications taken by mouth (such as acitretin, isotretinoin), strontium ranelate.
If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting demeclocycline.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: digoxin, kaolin pectin, warfarin.
This product can affect the results of certain lab tests (e.g., some urine tests for sugar), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor tells you to.
With prolonged use or if this medication is used to treat SIADH, laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, kidney and liver function tests, mineral levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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