Tetracycline causing tooth discolouration not a trivial matter

Your CPD article on re-implanting an avulsed tooth (
The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;294:56
) states that antibiotics should be prescribed. Although the reference given does indeed state that tetracycline can be prescribed, it goes on to remind the reader that most jurisdictions do not advise that tetracycline is given to patients under 12, because of the risk of tooth discolouration.

This is not trivial: tooth whitening does not always disguise tetracycline stains, and restorative options will need lifetime maintenance, which the NHS may or may not fund (depending on the decision of the dentist). As a dentist, I value the role of the pharmacist as a last line of defence against prescribing errors. I would hope that any pharmacist would pick up the telephone and have a risks-versus-benefits conversation with the prescriber. 

Christina Bellamy





Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 7 February 2015, Vol 294, No 7848;294(7848):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067717

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