Doxycycline is used to treat bacterial infections and is also used to prevent malaria. Other uses include treating pimples or bumps on the face caused by a condition called rosacea, and can be used to treat anthrax infection after possible exposure. This medicine is a tetracycline antibiotic.
- Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. It fights bacteria in the body.
- Doxycycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as Urinary Tract infections, Acne, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia, Periodontitis (gum disease), and others.
- Doxycycline is also used to treat blemishes, bumps, and Acne-like lesions caused by Rosacea.
How should this medicine be used?
Doxycycline comes as a regular and a coated capsule, a tablet, a syrup, and a suspension (liquid), all to take by mouth. Doxycycline is usually taken once or twice a day. Drink a full glass of water with each dose of the capsule or tablet. If your stomach becomes upset when you take doxycycline, you may take it with food or milk. However, taking doxycycline with milk or food may decrease the amount of medication absorbed from your stomach. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the best way to take doxycycline if your stomach becomes upset. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take doxycycline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the syrup or suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
If you are taking doxycycline for the prevention of Malaria, start taking it 1 or 2 days before traveling to an area where there is Malaria. Continue taking doxycycline for 4 weeks after leaving the area where there is malaria. You should not take doxycycline for the prevention of Malaria for more than 4 months.
Continue to take doxycycline even if you feel well. Take all the medication until you are finished, unless your Doctor or Pharmacist tells you otherwise.
What precautions should I take?
Before taking doxycycline, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, sulfites (for doxycycline syrup only), or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin, carbamazepine (Tegretol), penicillin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and vitamins. Doxycycline decreases the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives; another form of birth control should be used while taking this drug.
- be aware that antacids, calcium supplements, iron products, and laxatives containing magnesium interfere with doxycycline, making it less effective. Take doxycycline 1 hour before or 2 hours after antacids (including sodium bicarbonate), calcium supplements, and laxatives containing magnesium. Take doxycycline 2 hours before or 3 hours after iron preparations and vitamin products that contain iron.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes or kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking doxycycline, call your doctor immediately. Doxycycline can harm the fetus.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking doxycycline.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Doxycycline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
- you should know that when you are receiving doxycycline for prevention of malaria, you should also use protective measures such as effective insect repellent, mosquito nets, clothing covering the whole body, and staying in well-screened areas, especially from early nighttime until dawn. Taking doxycycline does not give you full protection against malaria.
- you should know that when doxycycline is used during pregnancy or in babies or children up to age 8, it can cause the teeth to become permanently stained. Doxycycline should not be used in children under age 8 except for inhalational anthrax or if your doctor decides it is needed.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What are the side effects?
Doxycycline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- itching of the rectum or vagina
- sore mouth
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe headache
- blurred vision
- skin rash
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- redness of the skin (sunburn)
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark-colored urine
- light-colored bowel movements
- loss of appetite
- upset stomach
- stomach pain
- extreme tiredness or weakness
- decreased urination
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.