Doxycycline

Doxycycline

Doxycycline is an oral tablet and prescription drug that can be given both as its generic form and under branded names. Your doctor or consultant can help you to determine which kind of medication that you need. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Patient Leaflet(s)

Doxycycline is a kind of tetracycline antibiotic used to treat infections caused by specific kinds of bacteria. This medication works by interfering the bacteria’s ability to produce essential proteins and substances that they need to survive. 

What is Doxycycline? 

Doxycycline is an oral tablet and prescription drug that can be given both as its generic form and under branded names. Your doctor or consultant can help you to determine which kind of medication that you need.   

Doxycycline is part of a selection of drugs known as a tetracyclines, this medications work to kill bacteria that causes infections and various ailments in the human body. The Drug works by stopping bacterial proteins from being made. This stops the bacteria from being able to survive and grow.  

When is Doxycycline used? 

Doxycycline is used only for the treatment of bacterial infections. It can be used to treat a selection of different infections, including those responsible for causing acne, or malaria. Doxycycline can be given for people suffering from Q-Fever, Lyme disease, gastrointestinal infections, STDs, skin infections, and respiratory infections. Doxycycline may also be given for bladder infections in certain cases, although it is less common.  

Doxycycline is only used for bacterial infections and it cannot be used for the treatment of infections caused by viruses. It is important to be sure that Doxycycline is the correct treatment for your condition before you begin taking it. Using any antibiotic when it isn’t needed could cause dangerous side effects. Additionally, overuse of antibiotics could mean that Doxycycline and similar substances do not work for you when you really need them.  

How do you use Doxycycline? 

Doxycycline is a medication that can be given in a variety of different forms. Whatever the kind of medication that you get, you will receive a patient leaflet that you can use to gather additional information about how to use your medication. It is important to read the patient leaflet carefully when you first get this medication, as well as whenever you get a refill.  

Doxycycline can be taken by mouth when it is given in its pill form. When you get this medication in pill form, you can take it by mouth on an empty stomach. This usually means using it one hour before a meal, or two hours after you have eaten. Taking this product on an empty stomach can help it to absorb better. Using Doxycycline with food or milk can help to settle your stomach if an upset occurs. However, your doctor may advice you not to do this as it will stop the medication from working as well. Take this medication at least two to three hours before you take any products that contain calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. You should also not take this medication with dairy products. 

If you are given the liquid version of this medication, you will need to shake the bottle well before every dose that you take. It’s also a good idea to take the medication using the measuring device that comes with the substance. Trying to measure the liquid with a household device could mean that you don’t get the correct dose.  

What dosages are there? 

Doxycycline is given in different doses depending on what ailment you are trying to treat. For instance, for most infections, the dose in tablet form will be a single tablet taken twice per day. You can also take a single tablet once per day for the treatment of malaria. In some cases with children, the dosage of Doxycycline will be based on weight. 

If you are asked to take Doxycycline multiple times a day, then you should attempt to take it at the same evenly spaced times each day. This will help to maintain a consistent amount of the substance in your body. Continue to take this medication for as long as your doctor or consultant advises you to do so. Even if you start to feel better when you have been taking this medication for a couple of days, it’s important to keep on taking it. 

Deciding to stop taking Doxycycline early could mean that your symptoms come back, and that the bacteria responsible for causing your infection becomes resistant to similar medications. Tell your doctor if you do not feel better after taking a full course of Doxycycline or if you are not feeling any better after a few days.  

What are the side effects Doxycycline? 

All medications can cause side effects. That’s because different people respond to medicinal substances in different ways. Just because a side effect is listed here doesn’t mean that you will experience it. Additionally, it’s worth noting that you might experience side effects that are not listed here or on your patient leaflet. If you notice any problems when taking Doxycycline, speak to a doctor or pharmacist whenever you can.  

The most common side effects of Doxycycline can be:  

  • Stomach upset or pain; 
  • Nausea or vomiting; 
  • Diarrhea or problems with bowel movements. 

If you notice serious side effects, such as signs of kidney problems like a change in the amount of urine you pass, tell your doctor immediately. It’s also important to be aware that Doxycycline and similar drugs can increase the pressure in your skull. The risk of this side effect is usually greater for women who are overweight and are of child-bearing age.  

If the pressure in your skull increases when you take Doxycycline it will usually go away when the medication is stopped. However, if you continue to take it for a long period of time, there is a risk of vision loss or permanent blindness. Speak to a medical professional if you have a persistent headache, changes in your vision, decreased vision, or sudden blindness.  

In rare cases Doxycycline can cause a severe condition in the intestines known as Clostridium difficile diarrhea. This is caused by a form of resistant bacteria. Do not take any medications to stop the diarrhea if this happens as it could make it worse. Seek help from your doctor if you have persistent diarrhea, blood or mucus in your stool.  

Use of Doxycycline for extended periods can also cause oral thrush and new infections. Contact your doctor if you recognise changes in vaginal discharge, white patches in your mouth, or other symptoms. Additionally, remember that although a severe allergic reaction to this medication is rare, it is possible. You should seek help if you notice signs of an allergic reaction including sudden swelling around your throat or tongue.  

When shouldn’t you use Doxycycline? 

Doxycycline is a well-tolerated medication for many people. However, it is important to make sure that this medication is safe for you to take before you use it. Before using Doxycycline, tell your consultant about all of your medical history, and any allergies that you may have. Your consultant should be aware of allergies that you have to Doxycycline, and other allergies that may be aggravated by non-active ingredients. 

Before you take Doxycycline, tell your consultant about any history you have of problems with heart burn, or trouble swallowing. Additionally, keep in mind that Doxycycline can cause live bacterial vaccines to be less effective. You may not be able to have any vaccinations when you are using this medication unless you are told otherwise by a doctor.  

In certain cases, Doxycycline can make you more sensitive to the sun, so you may be asked to keep your time in the sun to a minimum. Limit your time in tanning booths and use sunscreen whenever you are outside. Children younger than eight years of age will be more sensitive to the side effects that Doxycycline can cause. They may also have additional side effects, such as discoloration of the tongue. Younger children may need to be monitored regularly when taking Doxycycline to ensure that they don’t fall victim to any dangerous side effects.  

It is not recommended that you should use this medication when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Taking Doxycycline when you’re breastfeeding or pregnant could cause damage to an unborn baby. It is best to consult a doctor for further guidance.  

Does Doxycycline interact with other medications? 

Doxycycline can sometimes interact with other drugs. When this happens, the interactions might cause your medication to be less effective. It could also cause the medications in your system to work differently. Drug interactions also increase your chances of dangerous side effects. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of any interactions between the different medications that you are taking. 

Before using Doxycycline tell your consultant about all of the substances that you are already using. This includes drugs over the counter, prescription medications, and even herbal substances that you might be taking with Doxycycline. You should also avoid starting or stopping new medications when you are using Doxycycline.  

Some medications that interact with this drug include retinoid medications, blood thinners and anti-seizure medications. Remember, while most antibiotics will not affect your birth control, if Doxycycline causes diarrhea or sickness, this could have an impact on how effective your birth control is.  

Where can you buy Doxycycline? 

After a consultation with your doctor, if  Doxycycline is recommended then this can be purchased online through one of the pharmacies that partner with us.  

Can I get Doxycycline without a prescription? 

Doxycycline will not be available without a prescription.  

Sources 

Mayo Clinic, 2020, online, “Doxycycline (Oral Route)”  [Accessed 15th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/doxycycline-oral-route/precautions/drg-20068229 

Medicines.org.uk, online, 2020, “Doxycycline 100mg Capsules” [Accessed 15th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/4063/smpc 

Medline Plus, online, 2020, “Doxycycline”[Accessed 15th of January 2020], Available on: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682063.html 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.

Medication information