Doxycycline and Pregnancy
Doxycycline is typically not recommended for women who are expecting. The medicine may cause permanent tooth discoloration in the child, and may even affect bone formation. If pregnancy occurs while you are taking doxycycline, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits of using this antibiotic.
Doxycycline is a prescription antibiotic. In most situations, the product is not appropriate for use during pregnancy due to the risk of problems such as tooth discoloration. The manufacturers of doxycycline recommend that pregnant women take doxycycline only if the potential benefits of the medication outweigh the possible risks to the fetus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women, but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents.
A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
When teeth are forming (during the second half of pregnancy through eight years of age), doxycycline can cause permanent tooth discoloration. The discoloration usually starts off as bright yellow, but fades to a yellow/gray/brown color. Some cases of inadequate tooth enamel have also been reported. Similarly, it is thought that tetracyclines (like doxycycline) might adversely affect bone formation.
Doxycycline binds to minerals and is permanently incorporated into bone. It is thought that this action may be responsible for the tooth and bone issues seen with doxycycline.
There is some weak evidence that tetracycline medications might increase the risk of birth defects, although it is not clear if a true risk exists.