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Doxycycline overview

Doxycycline is an antibiotic, which means it’s used to treat bacterial infections.

Brand names: Vibramycin, Oracea, Monodox, Acticlate

Used for: Bacterial infections.

Availability: Prescription.

Dosage: Oral: 40 mg up to 100 mg

Pregnancy: Category D. Evidence of risk.

Side effects:A rash, Sight problems, A high fever, Bruising easily, Chest pain, Weight gain, Back pain, Jaundice

Warnings: Alcohol not recomended.

Notes:Before using doxycycline, you must tell your doctor if you: Have a liver or kidney disease, Have an allergy to sulphites, Are taking medication to treat seizures or thin your blood.

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Learn about:

How to take - Side effects - Dosage - Things to avoid - Pregnancy

Our doctors can discuss your illness with you in order to diagnose the problem and recommend the best treatment. If doxycycline is the best drug for your situation, they can write up a prescription that you can collect from your nearest pharmacy at a time to suit you.

How to take doxycycline

There are a number of different forms of doxycycline. Most people are given tablets that should be taken at home with a glass of water. If it’s what’s known as a delayed release capsule, you must swallow it whole, without chewing, in order for the medicine to be most effective.

You might be able to take your doxycycline with food, but some forms of the drug are not suitable for this. Your doctor will explain to you how your medication should be taken and it’s important to follow these instructions fully.

What does doxycycline treat?

Doxycycline can treat a number of bacterial infections, including:

Additionally, it’s used to treat skin conditions such as acne, while it can also help with symptoms of rosacea such as lumps and growths. However, it will not help get rid of the redness caused by these conditions.

There are also instances of doxycycline being used to treat malaria.

What are the side effects of doxycycline?

Common side effects of doxycycline include mild bouts of nausea and vomiting, while you might find your skin is more sensitive to the sun than usual, meaning it takes less time burn.

As with many antibiotics, doxycycline can cause diarrhoea. This is not usually something to be concerned about, but you should speak to a doctor if your poo becomes extremely watery, or you notice blood in the toilet.

While they occur rarely, there are also a number of serious side effects that you should tell your doctor about immediately, such as:

  • A rash
  • Sight problems - including pain behind the eyes, blurred vision and colour blindness between red and yellow
  • A high fever
  • Bruising easily
  • Chest pain
  • Weight gain
  • Back pain
  • Jaundice

Very occasionally, some people experience an allergic reaction to doxycycline. If you find yourself having trouble breathing, or you notice swelling around your face, lips and throat, call for emergency medical assistance straight away.

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side-effects of Doxycycline
safe-dosages of Doxycycline

Doxycycline dosage

The amount and frequency of doxycycline you require will be decided by your doctor. It’s vital that you follow their instructions and continue taking the full course of your medication. If you experience side effects, talk to your doctor and see if you should stop taking the drug.

You shouldn’t stop taking doxycycline if you start to feel better, nor should you give up if you don’t notice any improvement after a couple of days. Antibiotics need a little time to work and your doctor will have taken this into account with your prescription.

If you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you realise, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In that situation, there’s no need to take a double dose. In fact, doing so could be harmful and increase the likelihood of side effects occurring.

Things to avoid

Before using doxycycline, you must tell your doctor if you:

  • Have a liver or kidney disease
  • Have an allergy to sulphites
  • Are taking medication to treat seizures or thin your blood

During your treatment, you should avoid taking antacids, multivitamins, iron supplements, calcium or laxatives for two hours either side of taking your medication.

Doxycycline can also have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill, so you should speak to your doctor about alternative methods of contraception during your treatment.

Can you drink alcohol when you’re on doxycycline?

While alcohol won’t necessarily be harmful if you’re taking doxycycline, it’s generally a bad idea to mix alcohol with antibiotics as you can be left dehydrated.

If you decide to drink alcohol in moderation during your treatment, consider having a glass of water in between drinks.

Is it safe to take doxycycline during pregnancy?

You should never take doxycycline if you’re pregnant.

Studies have shown that this can be harmful to your baby and lead to problems such as permanent tooth discolouration later in life.

It’s very important that your doctor knows that you’re pregnant, or planning to start a family, before prescribing doxycycline. If you fall pregnant during your treatment, stop taking your medication and tell a doctor as soon as possible.

Doxycycline can also contaminate breast milk in nursing mothers. This is also potentially bad for your baby’s health, as it can affect bone and tooth development. You should either stop breastfeeding during your treatment, or talk to your doctor about choosing a different drug.

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Talk to a doctor today

If you have a bacterial infection and want to know more about whether doxycycline could be the drug for you, book an appointment to discuss your situation with one of our UK-based doctors.

They’ll listen to your symptoms and any other important factors before deciding whether or not to prescribe doxycycline. Any prescription can be sent to a pharmacy of your choice, allowing you to collect it at a time and place to suit you.

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