Can You Buy Doxycycline Online?

By Zina Semenovskaya, MD
Medically reviewed
November 30, 2021

Let’s face it, these days, you can buy virtually anything on the internet.

With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking that buying doxycycline online was a simple undertaking.

In reality, buying it on the web is not strictly straightforward. 

For health and safety reasons, buying doxycycline, like most antibiotics, requires a prescription from a medical professional before you can place a purchase. 

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What is Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is what’s known as tetracycline antibiotic.

It’s used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including chest infections, dental infections, and certain STIs (like chlamydia).

Doxycycline works by decreasing bacteria’s ability to make protein, which inhibits its ability to grow and thrive, helping your immune system to fight the infection. 

In the US, you might recognize doxycycline by the brand name Acticlate, Doryx, Mondox, or Vibramycin.

It is typically prescribed in tablet or capsule form but is also available as an injection.

Can I Buy Doxycycline online?

In short, yes, you can buy doxycycline online.

Unlike say, acetaminophen, however, you cannot simply place it in your virtual basket and check out.

Instead, a prescription written by a doctor is required before you can purchase doxycycline online.

These regulations are in place largely to combat antibiotic resistance, which has seen antibiotics become increasingly less effective following years of overuse.

To get a prescription for doxycycline, tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long they’ve been going on, along with any other relevant information, which may include your medical history and recent antibiotic use.

If appropriate, a K physician will prescribe doxycycline or another antibiotic for you, which can then be shipped to your home from our K pharmacy.

Alternatively, there are various other licensed online and in-person pharmacies to which we can send your prescription.

A word of warning, though: many seemingly legitimate websites claim to sell doxycycline without a prescription.

Obtaining doxycycline this way can present a risk to your health.

Indeed, there’s no guarantee that what you’re buying is not contaminated, fake, properly dosed, or the wrong medicine entirely.

You can check to make sure that you’re using a safe, licensed online pharmacy via the FDA website.

Doxycycline Costs

As with any prescription, the price of doxycycline will vary depending on the strength and type of medicine you require (tablet, capsule, or injection), the brand, and the pharmacy used.

Whether or not you have medical insurance coverage is an added consideration.

To find out precisely how much you can expect to pay for doxycycline, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Doxycycline Uses

As mentioned previously, doxycycline is used to treat a wide range of infections caused by bacteria including:

In some circumstances, it can also be used to treat and prevent the following:

  • Malaria

It’s important to clarify that doxycycline only treats infections caused by bacteria.

Like other antibiotics, it does not treat viral infections such as COVID-19 or the common cold.

Doxycycline Dosage

How much doxycycline you should take, and how often you should take it, will depend on the following: 

  • Your age
  • The condition being treated
  • How severe your condition is
  • Other medical conditions you have
  • How you react to the first dose

In terms of age, doctors will generally exercise caution when prescribing doxycycline to children under the age of 8.

This is due to concerns that doxycycline may cause permanent tooth staining in infants and children.

For the same reason, pregnant or breastfeeding women have traditionally been discouraged from taking the drug.

As a rule of thumb, however, both children and adults with severe infections will be treated with 200mg of doxycycline daily.

For acne, 100mg of doxycycline, once daily, tends to be recommended.

Similarly, Malaria prevention usually entails taking 100mg once a day.

This also requires taking doxycycline one or two days before going to an area where malaria is present and continuing to take it for four weeks after leaving.

Doxycycline Side Effects

Like many medications, doxycycline can have some unwanted side effects.

The most common are headaches, sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, and vomiting.

Usually, these side effects are nothing to be worried about.

That said, if you struggle to keep doxycycline down, you may not be benefiting from a full dose.

This could impact your recovery, in which case you should discuss alternative treatments with your doctor.

More serious side effects of doxycycline are rare.

Nonetheless, if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking doxycycline, please seek immediate medical attention:  

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding (including nosebleeds) combined with a sore throat, high temperature, and generalized weakness or fatigue
  • Severe diarrhea that contains mucus or blood, or any diarrhea that lasts longer than four days
  • Ringing or buzzing in your ears
  • Joint or muscle pain which started after taking the medicine
  • Severe headaches, vomiting, and problems with your vision
  • A sore or swollen mouth, lips, or tongue
  • Severe stomach pain, with or without bloody diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing, a sore throat, acid reflux, chest pain, or a reduced appetite
  • Severe allergic reaction (including the presence of hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face/throat)

The above is not an exhaustive list of doxycycline side effects.

If you’re taking, or plan to take doxycycline, please refer to the patient information leaflet inside your medicine packet for a more detailed list of side effects.  

How To Take Doxycycline

Always take doxycycline as instructed by your doctor.

Follow the directions on your prescription label and take it in the dose your health care provider prescribes.

It is important to finish the whole course of doxycycline even if your symptoms start to improve to ensure that the infection is completely treated and that you do not develop resistance to the antibiotic.

If you’ve been prescribed doxycycline in tablet or capsule form, take it with plenty of water.

Ideally, you should do this in an upright position as laying down immediately after taking doxycycline can irritate your throat or stomach, causing nausea and acid reflux.

As mentioned above, doxycycline can sometimes cause nausea, especially when taken on an empty stomach.

If you prefer to do so, you can crush, break, or open your capsule or tablet and sprinkle it into something more palatable.

However, you should be sure to check the instructions on your medication first, as some brands of doxycycline advise against this.

Additionally, if you are taking delayed-release doxycycline, you should only take your medication whole.

While some tablets and capsules get to work in your body straight away, delayed-release medication releases its active ingredients over several hours, which is why you should not tamper with it.

Finally, if you forget to take a single dose of doxycycline, simply take it as soon as you remember.

If this happens close to the time of your next dose, however, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as normal.

Taking two doses at the same time is not recommended, but if you do this accidentally, it is unlikely to cause you any harm.

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What To Avoid While Taking Doxycycline 

  • Dairy Products: Consuming dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt with doxycycline can stop your body from absorbing it properly. As such, if you are going to eat dairy products while taking this medication, it is recommended you wait a few hours after taking a dose.
  • Prolonged Exposure To Sunlight : Doxycycline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight and make you burn more easily. While taking this medicine, ensure you use sunscreen when going outside, wear protective clothing and sunglasses, and avoid using sunbeds.
  • Getting vaccinations: Doxycycline can alter the efficacy of some immunizations and vaccinations, such as the typhoid vaccine (when it is administered by mouth). Unless your doctor has given you the go-ahead, it is best to schedule vaccinations so that you’re getting them after you’ve finished your course of this medication.
  • Certain Medications, Supplements and Multivitamins: Some medicines do not mix well with doxycycline, including acne medicines containing vitamin A, stomach ulcer medicines containing bismuth, and certain blood thinners. It can also decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives. Iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives can also become less potent when taken with doxycycline. You can check if doxycycline interacts with your medication here, or ask your doctor.
  • Alcohol: Doxycycline is known to interact with alcohol. In particular, doxycycline is likely to be less effective in people who have a medical history of liver problems or chronic alcohol consumption. Broadly speaking, if you’re still recovering from an infection, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol altogether. Drinking alcohol is linked to a weakened immune system, which will slow down your recovery.

How K Health Can Help 

Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app?

Download K Health to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Health’s AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy doxycycline over-the-counter?
No, you can’t buy doxycycline over-the-counter. It is a prescription-only medication, meaning you must have a prescription from a doctor to buy it.
Is it legal to buy doxycycline online?
Yes, provided you have a prescription, it is legal to buy doxycycline online from a licensed pharmacy.
Does doxycycline require a prescription?
Doxycycline is a prescription medication. As the name suggests, a prescription from a doctor is required before a pharmacy can supply you with it.

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.

K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

Zina Semenovskaya, MD

Dr. Semenovskaya specializes in emergency medicine, and received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College. She is currently the medical director at Remote Emergency Medicine Consulting, LLC and splits her time working clinically as an emergency medicine attending in California and Alaska. She is the first of our doctors to be fluent in Russian.