DOXYCYCLINE (dox i SYE kleen) treats infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by viruses.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Long exposure to sunlight like working outdoors
Recent stomach surgery
Stomach or intestine problems such as colitis
Yeast or fungal infection of the mouth or vagina
An unusual or allergic reaction to doxycycline, tetracycline antibiotics, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Shake well before using. Use a specially marked oral syringe, spoon, or dropper to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. It is best to take this medication without food, but if it upsets your stomach take it with food. Take all of this medication unless your care team tells you to stop it early. Keep taking it even if you think you are better.
Take antacids and products with aluminum, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc in them at a different time of day than this medication. Talk to your care team if you have questions.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Antacids, vitamins, or other products that contain aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc
Birth control pills
Oral retinoids such as acitretin, isotretinoin
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Increased pressure around the brain—severe headache, change in vision, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting
Pain or trouble swallowing
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Severe diarrhea, fever
Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Change in tooth color
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not improve.
Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your care team if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.
Do not take this medication just before going to bed. It may not dissolve properly when you lay down and can cause pain in your throat. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication to also help reduce irritation in your throat.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
If you are being treated for a sexually transmitted infection, avoid sexual contact until you have finished your treatment. Your sexual partner may also need treatment.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medication. Talk to your care team about using an extra method of birth control.
If you are using this medication to prevent malaria, you should still protect yourself from contact with mosquitos. Stay in screened-in areas, use mosquito nets, keep your body covered, and use an insect repellent.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature, below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date. Taking this medication after the expiration date can make you seriously ill.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.