Doxycycline is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.
The drug is also sold under the trademarks Oracea, Doryx, Monodox, Periostat and Vibramycin.
Doxycycline belongs to a class of drugs called tetracyclines, and it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means that it works against a wide range of bacteria.
Doctors prescribe Doxycycline to prevent malaria and treat a wide range of infections, including:
- Pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections
- Lyme disease
- Skin Infections
- Infections associated with genital and urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Anthrax (after inhalation exposure)
Doxycycline works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.
Like all antibiotics, doxycycline will not cure colds, flu or other infections caused by viruses or fungi.
A study conducted in 2014 showed that a small dose of 40 mg (mg) of slow-release Doxycycline can be effective and safe every day for ocular rosacea.
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer developed Doxycycline in the early 1960s, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in 1967 under the trademark Vibramycin.
In 1994, the FDA also approved a drug for the prevention of malaria.
Doxycycline from acne
Over the years, doctors have prescribed Doxycycline for the treatment of acne.
It is sometimes used as an alternative to another anti-acne medication with broader side effects, Minocycline.
However, a study published in 2015 showed that people with acne who used an antimicrobial face gel improved their skin significantly, according to MedPage Today.
The study shows that using a gel for a face containing adapalene / benzoyl peroxide may be a better alternative than using antibiotics such as doxycycline.
There are several important warnings that you should know about before taking Doxycycline.
You should take this medication only for the treatment of bacterial infections, and it is important to take it exactly as your doctor prescribes.
The use of Doxycycline or other antibiotics is incorrect or their use to treat infections caused by other types of microbes, such as viruses, promotes the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Every time you take an antibiotic, it kills sensitive bacteria. However, resistant microbes can grow and multiply, and then the surviving bacteria can become resistant.
It is also important to understand that taking antibiotics, including Doxycycline, changes the normal balance of bacteria in your body.
In addition to killing harmful bacteria, the medicine can also reduce the number of good bacteria that help keep other microbes under control.
As a result, some people taking Doxycycline develop yeast infections and diarrhea associated with antibiotics.
Taking Doxycycline, you can make birth control pills less effective. If you use oral contraceptives, you should use other forms of contraception while you are taking this antibiotic.
Before taking Doxycycline, tell your doctor if you have any surgery, including dental surgery.
Your doctor also needs to know if you have ever had liver or kidney disease.
Also tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Taking Doxycycline can interfere with the analysis of sugar in the urine.
Talk with your doctor before changing a diet or diabetes treatment plan.
Pregnancy and Doxycycline
Pregnant women should not take Doxycycline, because the drug can harm an unborn baby.
Tetracyclines, including doxycycline, also penetrate breast milk, so women who breastfeed should not take this medication.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Children under the age of 8 should not take Doxycycline, except as an inhalation anthrax treatment or if the doctor decides that it is necessary.
Doxycycline for dogs and cats
Doxycycline is often used to treat bacterial infections in dogs, cats and other animals.
Doxycycline may be prescribed for the treatment of several bacterial infections, such as leptospirosis, urinary tract infections (UTIs), toxoplasmosis, erlichiosis or mycoplasma.
It is also used to treat tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and spotted fever.
Since doxycycline can cause serious side effects in dogs and cats (eg, nausea and diarrhea), it should be used only under the care of a veterinarian.
Doxycycline: side effects
Common side effects
Common side effects include:
- Itching of the rectum or vagina
- Pain in the mouth
Serious side effects
If you have any of these side effects, stop taking Doxycycline and see a doctor right away:
- Strong headache
- Unclear vision
- Rash or urticaria
- It’s painful to breathe or swallow
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Urine of dark color
- Light feces
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Extreme fatigue or weakness
- Less frequent urination
Some drugs may interfere with the work of Doxycycline. This antibiotic can also interact with other drugs.
It is very important that your doctor knows everything that you are taking.
Types of drugs that interact with doxycycline include:
- Calcium supplements
- Iron supplements and laxatives that contain magnesium
- Blood solvents such as Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Barbiturates and contraceptives, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Birth control pills
Doxycycline can cause indigestion.
Taking the drug with milk or food can help, but it can reduce the amount of medicine your body can absorb.
If you experience stomach upset with Doxycycline, talk with your doctor about how best to take this medication.
Taking Doxycycline, you can also make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. While you are taking the medicine, be sure not to stay in the sun for a long time, whenever possible.
If you need to be outside, take precautions to protect the skin from the sun, for example:
- Wearing protective clothing
- Wearing sunglasses
- Application of sunscreen
If you are taking Doxycycline for the prevention of malaria, it is important to understand that the drug does not completely protect you from this infection.
While you are taking the medicine, you still need to take additional preventive measures, including:
- Application of an effective insecticide
- Use mosquito nets
- Wearing clothes covering the whole body
Doxycycline and alcohol
You can drink alcohol while taking Doxycycline, but drinking alcohol can increase the risk of side effects, including upset stomach.
Talk with your doctor about the risks of combining alcohol and Doxycycline.
Doxycycline can be in the form of tablets, capsules and in liquid form. The doctor can also inject it under the skin.
Tablets have a different size, including 50, 75, 100 and 150 mg.
Do not crush or break a delayed-release capsule.
If you take the oral form of the drug, drink a full glass of water with each dose.
For adults, the normal dose of Doxycycline is 200 mg on the first day of treatment.
For more severe infections, such as chronic urinary tract infections, the recommended dose is 100 mg every 12 hours.
In some cases, people may need to take higher doses, 300 mg per day for 10 days.
For an inhalation anthrax, the usual prescription for adults is 100 mg of Doxycycline twice a day for 60 days.
For the prevention of malaria, you should start taking Doxycycline two days before the trip.
Continue taking the drug for four weeks after you leave the area where malaria presents a particular risk.
Do not take Doxycycline to prevent malaria for more than four months.
The correct dosage for children older than 8 years will depend on the weight of the child.
Continue to take Doxycycline until your course of treatment is over, even if you are feeling well.
Do not take more Doxycycline than your doctor prescribed.
Taking too many medicines, you can increase the risk of side effects.
If you or someone else has overdose symptoms, call the Toxicology Center
If someone has fainted or is not breathing, call 911.
The missed dose of Doxycycline
Be sure to take Doxycycline exactly as your doctor prescribed.
Dose skipping or complete completion of the course of therapy may make the drug less effective.
This can also lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria, which in the future will not respond to antibiotics.
If you forget to take Doxycycline, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it.
If it’s time for your next regular dose, skip past.
Do not take twice as much Doxycycline at a time to make up the missed dose.