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Demeclocycline is used in the treatment of severe acne, infections of the brain and liver caused by bacteria Leptospira, infections caused by bacteria Rickettsia, and Brucella (brucellosis), infections of the sex organs and organs associated with urination (genito-urinary infections) such as an infection called chancroid, non-gonococcal urethritis, and rare infections such as tularaemia and bubonic plague. It may also be used to treat a rare condition in which a tumour of the pituitary gland in the brain causes the amount of sodium in the blood to be too low (syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone [SIADH]).

How it works

Demeclocycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic that belongs to class of drugs called tetracyclines. It acts by inhibiting the growth and multiplication of bacteria by interfering in their protein synthesis mechanism.

Common side effects

Increased sensitivity to light, Tooth discolouration, Hormone imbalance, Allergic reaction, Slow growth in children and teenagers, Blurred vision, Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Headache


Expert advice

  • Do not take demeclocycline with milk or food products derived from milk.
  • Do not take iron and calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking democlocycline.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight as demeclocycline may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Exercise caution while taking demeclocycline if you suffer from myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disease characterized by very weak muscles and unusual tiredness) or have liver or kidney disorder.
  • Inform your doctor if you have intolerance to sucrose or lactose.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking other drugs like penicillin, methoxyflurane, oral contraceptives, or if you have taken oral typhoid vaccine recently.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery as demeclocycline causes headache, dizziness and visual disturbances.
  • Do not give to Patients who are allergic to tetracycline class of antibiotics, demeclocycline or to any of its ingredients.
  • Do not give to patients with severe kidney or liver problems.
  • Do not give to patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (a condition characterized by a rash especially on the face, hair loss, fever, malaise and joint pain).
  • Do not give to children under 12 years old.
  • Avoid if patients is Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Do not give to patients with acute porphyria (disorder involving abnormal metabolism of the haemoglobin)

Frequently asked questions


 Q. How long does demeclocycline take to work?
It appears that demeclocycline takes 3-4 hours to work and half of the drug is eliminated in 12 hours.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)