Doxycycline, a type of tetracycline antibiotic, is prescribed for treating various infections caused by specific types of bacteria. It is also employed for the prevention of malaria and to prevent or treat anthrax. When used in combination with other medications, it is effective in treating acne and rosacea, which is a skin condition characterized by redness, flushing, and pimples on the face.
Doxycycline works by impeding the growth and dissemination of bacteria to treat infections. In treating acne, it eradicates the bacteria that infect pores and reduces the production of an oily substance that contributes to acne. For the treatment of rosacea, it reduces inflammation, which is the underlying cause of this condition.
Uses and Dosage
To achieve maximum benefits, take this medication orally on an empty stomach, usually once or twice daily, or as advised by your doctor. Take the medication with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters), unless otherwise instructed. In case of stomach discomfort, taking it with food or milk can help alleviate symptoms. However, consuming this medication with food or milk may reduce its effectiveness. After taking the medication, refrain from lying down for at least 10 minutes.
Take this medication 2 to 3 hours before or after using any products containing aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, or bismuth subsalicylate. Examples include antacids, quinapril, vitamins/minerals, dairy products, and calcium-fortified juice. These products can bind with doxycycline, hindering your body from fully absorbing the drug.
When used to prevent malaria, this medication is usually taken once daily. Take the first dose of this medication 1 to 2 days before your travel or as directed by your doctor. Continue taking this medication daily while in the malaria-prone area, and for four more weeks after returning home. If you are unable to complete the course of doxycycline, contact your doctor.
If you’re using the liquid form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device or spoon. Do not use a regular household spoon as it may not provide the correct dose.
The dosage of this medication is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage may also be based on their weight.
To obtain the best possible results, take this antibiotic at regular intervals. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Continue taking this medication until you complete the full prescribed course, even if your symptoms improve after a few days. Discontinuing the medication too early may allow bacteria to thrive, resulting in the recurrence of the infection.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- loss of appetite
- itching of the rectum
- swelling, redness, burning, itching, or irritation of the vagina
- vaginal discharge
- painful or difficult urination
- sore throat or nose
- swollen tongue
- dry mouth
- back pain
- changes in color of skin, scars, nails, eyes, or mouth
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- blurred vision, seeing double, or loss of vision
- rash that may occur with fever or swollen glands
- skin redness, peeling or blistering
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the eyes, face, throat, tongue, or lips
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- watery or bloody stools, stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
- joint pain
- discoloration of teeth
Before taking doxycycline, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or other tetracyclines (such as minocycline), or if you have any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
You should also inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, especially if you have trouble swallowing or esophagus problems.
Doxycycline may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as the typhoid vaccine) to be less effective. Inform your healthcare professional that you are using doxycycline before having any immunizations/vaccinations.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. To avoid skin problems, limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, and use sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors. If you get sunburned or experience skin blisters or redness, inform your doctor immediately.
Children younger than 8 years may be more sensitive to the side effects of doxycycline, especially tooth discoloration. Tooth discoloration has also occurred in older children and young adults.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. You should not become pregnant while using doxycycline as it may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with you.
If you are breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using doxycycline as this medication passes into breast milk.
Form and Strength
Vibramycin is available in the following forms and strengths:
Why can’t you lay down after taking Vibramycin?
While you are lying down the pill can reflux back up into the esophagus, where it can irritate or even ulcerate the lining of the esophagus.
How long does it take for Vibramycin to work?
For most infections, you should start to feel better within a few days.