Two multi-center studies evaluating locally delivered doxycycline hyclate, placebo control, oral hygiene, and scaling and root planing in the treatment of periodontitis

J Periodontol. 1999 May;70(5):490-503. doi: 10.1902/jop.1999.70.5.490.


Background: The clinical efficacy and safety of doxycycline hyclate (8.5% w/w) delivered subgingivally in a biodegradable polymer (DH) was compared to placebo control (VC), oral hygiene (OH), and scaling and root planing (SRP) in 2 multi-center studies.

Methods: Each study entered 411 patients who demonstrated moderate to severe periodontitis. Patients had 2 or more quadrants each with a minimum of 4 qualifying pockets > or =5 mm that bled on probing. At least 2 of the pockets were > or =7 mm. Treatment with DH, VC, OH, or SRP was provided at baseline and again at month 4. Clinical parameters were recorded monthly.

Results: DH and SRP resulted in nearly identical clinical changes over time in both studies. Mean 9 month clinical attachment level gain (ALG) was 0.8 mm for the DH group and 0.7 mm for the SRP group in Study 1, and 0.8 mm (DH) and 0.9 mm (SRP) in Study 2. Mean probing depth (PD) reduction was 1.1 mm for the DH group and 0.9 mm for the SRP group in Study 1 and 1.3 mm for both groups in Study 2. Frequency distributions showed an ALG > or =2 mm in 29% of DH sites versus 27% of SRP sites in Study 1 and 31% of DH sites versus 34% of SRP sites in Study 2. PD reductions > or =2 mm were seen in 32% of DH sites versus 31% of SRP sites in Study 1 and 41% of DH sites versus 43% of SRP sites in Study 2. Comparisons between DH, VC, and OH treatment groups showed DH treatment to be statistically superior to VC and OH. Safety data demonstrated a benign safety profile with use of the DH product.

Conclusions: Results of this trial demonstrate that treatment of periodontitis with subgingivally delivered doxycycline in a biodegradable polymer is equally effective as scaling and root planing and superior in effect to placebo control and oral hygiene in reducing the clinical signs of adult periodontitis over a 9-month period. This represents positive changes resulting from the use of subgingivally applied doxycycline as scaling and root planing was not limited regarding time of the procedure or use of local anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Dental Scaling*
  • Doxycycline / administration & dosage
  • Doxycycline / analogs & derivatives*
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / therapy
  • Periodontal Pocket / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Pocket / therapy
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy
  • Periodontitis / therapy*
  • Placebos
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Pyrrolidinones / chemistry
  • Root Planing*
  • Safety
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Placebos
  • Polyesters
  • Pyrrolidinones
  • poly(lactide)
  • N-methylpyrrolidone
  • Doxycycline