October 29, 2006
by Steve Kuo
Periostat (produced by CollaGenex) is the trademark name for 20mg doxycycline hyclate tablets.
It's a prescription oral medication used to flight gum disease (chronic periodontitis). The claim is that doxycycline in low dose inhibits the gum's allergenic inflammatory response to naturally occurring bacteria found below the gum line. The typical prescribed dosage is 20mg twice a day. It's also sometimes prescribed for facial acne.
Doxycycline has been used for years as an antibiotic. Its most common form, 100mg tablets, is available at very low cost. Periostat on the other hand is quite expensive.
My local pharmacy charges $52 for a month supply of Periostat. This is 60 20mg tablets (1200mg total). The same amount of doxycycline in 100mg tablets costs less than $10.
One solution to this high cost is to split 100mg tablets into 25mg quarters. This is actually quite easy to do with a pill splitter, a small plastic pill splitting device that sells for less than $8.
Of course CollaGenex highly discourages this, which is why 100 is an odd multiple of 20 (good luck dividing tablets into fifths). They warn that there's been no clinical study using 25mg dosages. Many periodontists prescribe 1/4 of a 100mg tablet twice a day. If you're really paranoid about exact dosage, you could try taking 25mg quarters every 15 hours instead of 12 hours. Warning: This can drive you crazy trying to keep track of 15 hour intervals. As with all prescription medication, consult your prescribing health care physician.
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