This site is intended for UK healthcare professionals
Medscape UK Univadis Logo
Medscape UK Univadis Logo


Oral formulations of demeclocycline hydrochloride.

Drugs List

  • demeclocycline 150mg capsules
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Antibiotic sensitive infections
    Hyponatraemia due to syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH)

    Treatment of infections caused by tetracycline-sensitive organisms including the treatment of severe acne vulgaris.
    Treatment of chronic hyponatraemia associated with the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secondary to malignant disease.



    Treatment of tetracycline-sensitive infections
    600mg daily in two or four divided doses.
    For primary atypical pneumonia, the average daily dose is 900mg in 3 divided doses for 6 days.

    Treatment should continue for 1 to 3 days after symptoms of fever have resolved.

    The occurrence of rheumatic fever or glomerulonephritis following streptococcal infections suggests that treatment of these infections should be continued for 8 days (even after resolution of symptoms).

    Treatment of chronic hyponatraemia associated with SIADH

    Initial dose of 900mg to 1200g daily to be given in divided doses.

    Maintenance dose of 600mg to 900mg daily to be given in divided doses.

    Treatment should not be withdrawn without starting other methods of control for this condition.


    Children 12 to 18 years
    See Dosage; Adult.

    Children under 12 years

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    Avoid demeclocycline use in renal impairment if possible.
    Lower doses are indicated in cases of renal impairment to avoid excessive systemic accumulation and if therapy is prolonged, serum level determinations are advisable.

    The Renal Drug Handbook suggests the following doses:

    Glomerular filtration rate 20 to 50ml/minute
    See Dosage; Adult.

    Glomerular filtration rate 10 to 20ml/minute
    600mg every 24 to 48 hours.

    Glomerular filtration rate below 10ml/minute
    600mg every 24 to 48 hours.

    Patients with Hepatic Impairment

    Patients with hepatic impairment should not receive more than 1g daily.


    Children under 12 years
    Acute porphyria

    Precautions and Warnings

    Hepatic impairment
    Myasthenia gravis
    Renal impairment
    Systemic lupus erythematosus

    Reduce dose in patients with renal impairment
    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Advise patient to have no food for 2 hours before and 1 hour after dose
    Haematological monitoring required in long term use
    Monitor hepatic function on long term therapy
    Monitor renal function on long term therapy
    Prolonged use may lead to nephrotoxicity
    Discontinue if overgrowth of resistant organisms occurs
    Discontinue if photosensitivity occurs
    Advise avoid milk/antacid/mineral supplements 2 hours before or after dose
    Dairy products may impair absorption
    Advise patient that photosensitivity possible
    Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight or sunlamps

    Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment and in patients receiving concurrent hepatotoxic or nephrotoxic drugs.

    High doses of demeclocycline administered for long periods can increase the risk of nephrotoxicity and photoallergic reactions.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Demeclocycline is contraindicated during pregnancy.

    The manufacturer does not recommend the use of demeclocycline during pregnancy.

    Tetracycline administration during tooth development in the second half of pregnancy can result in permanent tooth discolouration. This reaction is more common during long term use but has been observed following repeated short term administration. Enamel hypoplasia in the child has also been reported.

    Animal studies have demonstrated that tetracycline cross the placenta, are found in foetal tissue and can have foetotoxic effects, including impaired skeletal development. Embryotoxicity has also been observed.


    Demeclocycline is contraindicated during breastfeeding.

    The manufacturer does not recommend breastfeeding whilst taking demeclocycline.

    Tetracyclines have been found in human breast milk. This may result in permanent tooth discolouration and enamel hypoplasia in the breastfeeding infant.


    Advise patients to be take an hour before or two hours after a meal as food will impair the absorption of demeclocycline.

    Advise patients to avoid milk, antacids and mineral supplements for 2 hours before or after demeclocycline dose.

    Advise patients to avoid direct exposure to natural or artificial sunlight and to discontinue therapy at the first sign of skin discomfort.

    Advise patients to discontinue therapy and seek medical advice if severe or persistent headache or blurred vision are noted (possible raised intracranial pressure).

    Advise patients that side effects including headache, dizziness, visual disturbances, and hearing impairment may affect their ability to drive and operate machinery.

    Side Effects

    Acute renal failure
    Altered liver function tests
    Anaphylactoid purpura
    Antibiotic-associated colitis
    Aplastic anaemia
    Benign intracranial hypertension
    Blurred vision
    Brown-black microscopic discolouration of thyroid tissue
    Bulging fontanelles in infants
    Bullous dermatoses
    Diabetes insipidus
    Erythematous rash
    Exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus
    Exfoliative dermatitis
    Haemolytic anaemia
    Hearing disturbances
    Hepatic failure
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Increase in blood urea nitrogen
    Maculopapular rash
    Oesophageal ulceration
    Pseudomembranous colitis
    Renal impairment
    Serum creatinine increased
    Skin discolouration
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome
    Visual disturbances


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: May 2019

    Reference Sources

    The Renal Drug Handbook. Fourth Edition (2014) ed. Ashley, C and Dunleavy, A, Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, London.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Demeclocycline Hydrochloride 150 mg Capsules. ADVANZ Pharma. Revised January 2019.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 10 May 2019

    Access the full UK drug database with a FREE Medscape UK Account
    It takes just a few minutes, and you’ll get unlimited access to information on over 11,000 UK drugs.
    Register for Free

    Already a member? Log in

    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

    FDB Logo

    FDB Disclaimer : FDB Multilex is intended for the use of healthcare professionals and is provided on the basis that the healthcare professionals will retain FULL and SOLE responsibility for deciding what treatment to prescribe or dispense for any particular patient or circumstance.