Health Guide
Drug Guide

Doxycycline (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

dox-i-SYE-kleen

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Antibiotic

Chemical

Tetracycline (class)

Uses of This Medicine:

Doxycycline is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It is also used to treat pimples and abscesses (usually on the face) that are caused by rosacea, also known as acne rosacea or adult acne.

Doxycycline delayed-release tablets and tablets are also used to prevent malaria and treat anthrax infection after possible exposure and other problems as determined by your doctor.

Doxycycline belongs to the class of medicines known as tetracycline antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Doxycycline may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth and slow down the growth of bones. This medicine should not be given to children 8 years of age and younger (except for treatment of exposure to inhalational anthrax), unless directed by the child's doctor.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of doxycycline in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have kidney, liver, or heart problems which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving doxycycline.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersDStudies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

This medicine comes with a patient instructions. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

If you are using delayed-release tablets or tablets:

Swallow the capsule whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or open it.

Shake the oral liquid well just before each use. Measure the dose with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.

Drink plenty of fluids to avoid throat irritation and ulceration.

If you are using this medicine to prevent malaria while traveling, start taking the medicine 1 or 2 days before you travel. Take the medicine every day during your trip and continue taking it for 4 weeks after you return. However, do not use the medicine for longer than 4 months.

If you are using For Oracea™ delayed-release capsules:

Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may darken the color of your skin, nails, eyes, teeth, gums, or scars. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Doxycycline may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. It may occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Birth control pills (containing estrogen) may not work properly while you are using doxycycline. To keep from getting pregnant, use other forms of birth control. These include condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.

Doxycycline may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight, even for brief periods of time, may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or a severe sunburn. When you begin taking this medicine:

If you have a severe reaction from the sun, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause intracranial hypertension. This is more likely to occur in women of childbearing age who are overweight or have a history of intracranial hypertension. Tell your doctor right away if you have a headache, blurred vision, or changes in vision.

Contact your doctor immediately if fever, rash, joint pain, or tiredness occurs. These could be symptoms of an autoimmune syndrome where the body attacks itself.

You should not take antacids that contain aluminum, calcium or magnesium, or any product that contains iron such as vitamin or mineral supplements.

If you are using this medicine to prevent malaria, take extra care not to get bitten by mosquitoes. Use protective clothing, mosquito netting or screens, and an insect repellent.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach tenderness
bloating
clay-colored stools
cough
dark urine
decreased appetite
diarrhea
diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
difficulty with swallowing
dizziness
fast heartbeat
feeling of discomfort
fever
headache
hives, itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
hives or welts, itching, or rash
increased thirst
inflammation of the joints
joint or muscle pain
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
loss of appetite
nausea and vomiting
numbness or tingling of the face, hands, or feet
pain
redness and soreness of the eyes
redness of the skin
sore throat
sores in the mouth
stomach cramps
stomach pain or tenderness
swelling of the feet or lower legs
swollen lymph glands
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight loss
yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known
Back, leg, or stomach pains
black, tarry stools
bleeding gums
blood in the urine or stools
blurred vision
bulging soft spot on the head of an infant
change in the ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
chest pain, discomfort, or burning
chills
cracks in the skin
decrease in vision
difficulty breathing
discoloration of the thyroid glands
double vision
general body swelling
heartburn
increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
loss of heat from the body
lower back or side pain
nosebleeds
pain or burning in the throat
pain with swallowing
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
pinpoint red spots on the skin
rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
red, swollen skin
redness or other discoloration of the skin
redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
scaly skin
severe nausea
severe stomach pain
severe sunburn
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
unusual bleeding or bruising
vomiting blood

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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