What is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is a man-made antibiotic derived from the antibiotic tetracycline. It is used to treat various types of infections, such as infections of the respiratory tract, typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, chancroid, cholera, brucellosis, anthrax, acne, and periodontal disease. It is also used to prevent malaria when travelling to high-risk countries.
Doxycycline is used for the treatment of bacterial infections only, not for viral infections such as the flu and the common cold. This medication should be used as directed by the doctor only. Any misuse of unnecessary use of the medication may result in a decreased effectiveness.
How does Doxycycline work?
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that works by stopping the growth of bacteria that caused the infection. It is used in the treatment of a wide variety of infections caused by bacteria, including those bacteria that cause acne. It may also be used in the prevention of malaria.
What are the benefits of using Doxycycline?
The main benefit of using Doxycycline is the treatment it provides to various types of infections. This medication effectively stops the growth of bacteria that caused the infection.
How do I use Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is available as a capsule, tablet, delayed-release capsule, delayed-release tablet, or suspension to be taken by mouth. The medication is typically taken once or two times a day with a full glass of water with every dose. If taking the medication results in an upset stomach, you should take doxycycline with milk or food although they may decrease the amount of the medication absorbed from the stomach.
Take the medication as directed by the prescribing doctor. Read and follow the directions on the label that comes with the medication. If you do not understand the proper way to take the medication, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain it to you.
Do not take the medication more or less than what is prescribed by the doctor. Increasing or decreasing the dose may change the effectiveness of the medication.
Continue to take Doxycycline until you finish the prescribed dosage. Do not stop taking the medication because you feel well or the symptoms of the infections are gone. Do not stop taking this medication until your doctor tells you to do so.
Doxycycline is taken to treat most infections once or twice a day for 7 to 14 days. The usual dosage for infections on adult patients is 200 mg on the first day of treatment followed by a dose of 100 to 200 mg a day in a single dose or divided dose administered twice a day.
Side effects & precautions
Doxycycline is a well-tolerated antibiotic. The common side effects of the medication include the following:
- Abdominal pain
Tetracyclines, which include doxycycline, can cause discolouration of the tooth when used by a person younger than 8 years of age. Exposure to sunlight should be minimized when using doxycycline because tetracyclines can result in exaggerated sunburn.
Before taking Doxycycline, you need to inform your doctor if you have an allergy to any tetracycline antibiotic or to any ingredient of the medication. Let your doctor know all medications that you are currently taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins and herbal products. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or carefully monitor you for side effects.
Inform your doctor if you ever had the following medical conditions before taking Doxycycline:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Sulfite allergy
- Increased pressure inside the skill, and
- If you are taking seizure medicine, isotretinoin, or warfarin
This medicine should not be given to children younger than age eight unless directed by the child’s doctor. Doxycycline can cause permanent discolouration of the teeth and slow bone growth among children.
Studies have not proven any geriatric-specific problems associated with taking this medication. No issues were reported that would diminish the usefulness of this medication to elderly patients. However, caution must be exercised in prescribing this medication to the elderly who have kidney, heart, or liver problems. There might be the need to adjust the dose of the medication.
Doxycycline will be less effective when taken together with antacids or any medication that contains aluminium, calcium, or magnesium. If you have to take the antacids and doxycycline, make sure that you take them at least two hours apart.
Doxycycline may affect the tooth and bone development of an unborn baby when the pregnant mother takes this medication. When this medication is taken during the last part of pregnancy, it may cause permanent discolouration of the tooth of the baby later in life. You need to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or become pregnant while using Doxycycline.
Women who are taking birth control pills should ask her doctor about the use of non-hormonal birth control pills when taking Doxycycline because this medication can make the pills less effective.
Breastfeeding mothers should not be taking this medication because it can pass into the breast milk and affect the tooth and bone development of the infant.
Some medicines must not be taken together because of serious drug interactions but some may be taken together after the doctor changes the dose. When taking Doxycycline, it is essential that you report to your doctor all the medications you are currently taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, including vitamins and herbal products.
The doctor shall determine the possible interactions and if there is a need to change the dose.
Doxycycline must not be taken at the same time as an antacid that contains aluminium, magnesium, or calcium. These medications bind doxycycline in the intestine, preventing its absorption by the body. Doxycycline should also not be taken together with minerals like iron or calcium.
Doxycycline should not be combined with penicillin as it could interfere with the action of that medication. It may also reduce the effect of oral contraceptives. Kidney function may be reduced when tetracycline and methoxyflurane are combined.
Doxycycline may increase the activity of warfarin resulting in excessive blood thinning that may lead to excessive bleeding.
It is important that you inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking before you start taking Doxycycline.