Subantimicrobial dose doxycycline in the treatment of recurrent oral aphthous ulceration: a pilot study

J Oral Pathol Med. 2007 Apr;36(4):236-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2007.00507.x.


Background: Recurrent oral aphthous ulceration (ROAU) is a common problem that can result in considerable pain and distress for patients. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the role of subantimicrobial dose doxycycline (SDD - 20 mg doxycycline twice daily) in the management of patients with ROAU.

Methods: 50 patients with ROAU were randomly allocated to treatment with SDD or placebo for 90 days. Daily ulcer diaries were completed by the participants to record the number of new ulcers and the pain associated with the ulcers.

Results: There were significantly more days with no new ulcers in the SDD group (80.4 +/- 5.9) than the placebo group (69.8 +/- 18.7; P=0.04). Strong trends were observed towards fewer new ulcers per day, fewer new ulcers over the 90-day period, and more days with no pain in the SDD group compared with the placebo group (P=0.06-0.08).

Conclusion: SDD shows promise as potential therapy in the management of ROAU, though this needs to be confirmed in further studies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Doxycycline / administration & dosage
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Doxycycline