"A unique type of poster placed in exam rooms helped reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory infections during flu season. The approach could help reduce costs and extend the usefulness of these drugs.
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 APPRISED OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARD TO THE FETUS.
THE USE OF DRUGS OF THE TETRACYCLINE CLASS DURING TOOTH DEVELOPMENT (LAST HALF OF PREGNANCY, INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD TO AGE OF 8 YEARS) MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DISCOLORATION OF THE TEETH (YELLOWISH-GRAY-BROWN).
This adverse reaction is more common during long-term use of the drugs 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.
All tetracyclines form a stable calcium complex in any bone forming tissues. A decrease in fibula growth rate has been observed in young animals (rats and rabbits) given oral tetracycline in doses of 25 mg/kg every six 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 have toxic effects on the developing fetus (often related to retardation of skeletal development). Evidence of embryotoxicity has also been noted in animals treated early in pregnancy.
The antianabolic action of tetracycline 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 may lead to azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acidosis. If renal impairment exists, even usual oral or parenteral dose may lead to excessive systemic accumulation of the drug and possible liver toxicity. Under such conditions, lower than usual 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. Patients apt to be exposed to direct sunlight or ultra-violet light should be advised that this reaction can occur with tetracycline drugs, and treatment should be discontinued at the first evidence of skin erythema.
NOTE: Photosensitization reactions have occurred most frequently with demeclocycline, less with chlortetracycline, and very rarely with oxytetracycline and tetracycline.
Prescribing Sumycin '250' and Sumycin '500' Tablets (Tetracycline Hydrochloride Tablets) in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
As with other antibiotics, use of this drug may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi. If superinfection occurs, the antibiotic should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. NOTE: Superinfection of the bowel by staphylococci may be life-threatening.
Pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension) in adults has been associated with the use of tetracyclines. The usual clinical manifestations are headache and blurred vision. Bulging fon- tanels have been associated with the use of tetracyclines in infants. While both of these conditions and related symptoms usually resolve after discontinuation of the tetracycline, the possibility for permanent sequelae exists.
Cross-sensitization among the various tetracyclines is extremely common.
Incision and drainage or other surgical procedures should be performed in conjunction with antibiotic therapy, when indicated.
Under no circumstances should outdated tetracyclines be administered, as the degradation of tetracyclines are highly nephrotoxic and have, on occasion, produced a Fanconi-like syndrome.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies conducted in rats and mice to determine whether tetracycline hydrochloride has carcinogenic potential were negative. Some related antibiotics (oxytetracycline, minocycline) have shown evidence of oncogenic activity in rats. In twoin vitro mammalian cell assay systems (L51784y mouse lymphoma and Chinese hamster lung cells), there was evidence of mutagenicity at tetracycline hydro- chloride concentrations of 60 and 10µg/mL, respectively.
Tetracycline hydrochloride had no effect on fertility when administered in the diet to male and female rats at a daily intake of 25 times the human dose.
Pregnancy: Teratogenic effects: Pregnancy Category D (see WARNINGS.)
Pregnancy: Nonteratogenic effects: (see WARNINGS.)
Labor and Delivery
The effect of tetracyclines on labor and delivery is unknown.
Tetracyclines are present in the milk of lactating women who are taking a drug in this class. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from tetracyclines, 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.)
See WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/8/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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