Does Doxycycline Cause Tooth Discoloration in Younger Patients?

missing teeth
missing teeth

Short-term use of doxycycline in pediatric patients younger than 8 years old does not appear to discolor teeth or weaken tooth enamel, according to the findings of a recent review. 

In their commentary, the study authors aimed to summarize the existing evidence assessing the association between doxycycline exposure in children <8 years old with tooth discoloration and enamel hypoplasia. By searching the PubMed Database, they were able to identify 6 studies with a total of 338 pediatric patients exposed to doxycycline before the age of 8 years.

Results showed that of the total patients, only 6 had “potential” tooth discoloration and that the studies consistently concluded that no difference in tooth discoloration was observed in children exposed to doxycycline compared with controls.

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According to an updated recommendation made by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), doxycycline may be utilized by a patient of any age for up to 21 days. Additionally, doxycycline is considered the drug of choice for treating patients of all ages with rickettsial disease, according to both the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The authors noted that changes to the AAP recommendation could potentially lead to short-term doxycycline use for other indications (ie, pneumonia, skin and soft tissue infections) in younger patients, however these would still be considered “off-label” uses. 

“Clinicians should understand the rationale for the change of doxycycline’s short-term use in the pediatric population younger than 8 years of age and recognize that this change in recommendation is not applicable to other tetracycline compounds,” the authors concluded. 

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