Targadox (Doxycycline): Uses, Side Effects, Dosage

By Zina Semenovskaya, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
December 31, 2021

Used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, Targadox is a brand name version of doxycycline, a powerful antibiotic.

It’s prescribed to treat everything from acne and eye infections to gum disease and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Since it’s a common prescription for these illnesses and others, it may be helpful to learn more about the medication.  

Throughout this article, I’ll explain what Targadox is, how it works, and what it’s used to treat.

I’ll also go into the side effects that it may cause.

Finally, I’ll explain how to take the medication and everything you should avoid while you’re taking it. 

What is Targadox?

Targadox is a tablet containing 50mg of doxycycline, an antibiotic that kills certain types of bacteria by stopping their growth.

It can be used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including respiratory, urinary, dental, skin, and sexually transmitted infections.

It can also be used to treat acne and rosacea.

Additionally, you can take it to help prevent malaria. 

Though it can treat a variety of bacterial infections throughout the body, Targadox does not treat viral infections, such as the common cold, COVID-19 and the flu

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What is Targadox Used to Treat?

Targadox is used to treat a variety of infections, including acne, urinary tract infections (UTIs), eye infections, intestinal infections, respiratory infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and gum disease.

It’s also used as a prophylaxis for malaria.  


Targadox is used to treat patients with moderate to severe acne as well as rosacea.

It works by preventing the bacteria that causes acne on the skin from multiplying.

It also helps with inflammation.  

Urinary tract infections

Targadox can treat bacterial UTIs, which occur in any part of the urinary system (kidneys, bladder, urtres, and urethra) after bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and moves to and multiplies in the bladder.

Depending on what kind of bacteria is causing the infection, Targadox may be used to treat it.

Eye infections

Doxycycline can be used to treat certain bacterial eye infections, such as infections of the eyelid and surrounding areas.

Intestinal Infections 

Gastrointestinal infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

If you have a severe gastrointestinal infection caused by bacteria like E. Coli that has not improved on its own with supportive care, then your doctor may prescribe Targadox.  

Respiratory infections 

Respiratory infections can be divided into two camps: upper respiratory infections, which affect your throat and sinuses, and lower respiratory infections, which affect your lungs and lower airways.

While many of these infections, especially upper respiratory infections, are caused by viruses, Targadox can be prescribed to treat respiratory infections when they are caused by bacteria, including pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. (As stated before, doxycycline does not treat viral infections).

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends doxycycline for treating chlamydia, which is the most frequently reported bacterial infectious disease in the United States. 

Periodontitis (gum disease)

Caused by bacterial growth beneath the gum line, mild gum disease can be treated with Targadox.

The antibiotic eliminates the bacteria in periodontal pockets, which are the openings that surround the teeth under the gum line.

Additionally, Targadox also helps reduce inflammation. 


If you’re traveling to malaria-endemic places, you may be able to take doxycycline to protect against malaria.

After consulting with your doctor, you should start taking it one to two days before traveling and continue taking it while you’re in the malarious area.

In order to prevent the development of malaria after returning, you should take the medication for at least four weeks.

However, you shouldn’t take doxycycline for longer than four months. 

While doxycycline protects against malaria, you should take other preventive measures to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos.

For instance, you can wear protective clothing, stay in screened areas, and use mosquito nets and proper insect repellent. 

Targadox Side Effects 

Targadox may cause these side effects:

  • Nausea  
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Cough
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chills
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Fast heartbeat 
  • Indigestion
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Unusual weight loss, tiredness, or weakness
  • Swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • Tightness in chest
  • Redness of the skin or eyes
  • Soreness of the eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen or tender lymph glands in neck, groin, or armpit
  • Increased thirst 

If you continue to experience the following side effects, seek professional medical help immediately:

  • Severe nausea, stomach pain, or sunburn
  • Vomiting blood
  • Double vision
  • Heartburn
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pain or burning in the throat
  • Pain with swallowing
  • General body swelling
  • Chest pain or burning
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Bleeding gums
  • Discoloration of thyroid glands
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Red, swollen, or discoloration of skin
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising 
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Unusually weak or tired 
  • Yellowing of the eyes or the skin
  • Loss of body heat

How to Take Targadox

In addition to the directions that come with the medication and that are on the prescription label, always follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions.

Take the medicine at regular intervals and for the entire prescribed course.

Take the medicine by mouth with an entire glass of water (about 8 ounces) on an empty stomach.

However, if it upsets your stomach, check with your doctor whether taking it with a glass of milk or food might be appropriate. 

Doxycycline is a powerful antibiotic, and it may cause your symptoms to improve before you finish your prescription.

Even if this happens, don’t stop taking your medication; complete the entire course of the antibiotic that was prescribed to you.

If you skip doses or stop taking the medication before finishing the full prescription, you increase the risk of getting a recurrent infection and developing a resistance to the medication in the future. 

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose soon as you can.

But skip the missed dose if it’s close to the time of your next one. Never take two doses of Targadox at the same time. 

What happens if I take too much?

If you overdose, get emergency medical attention as soon as possible.

You can also contact the Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

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What to Avoid While Taking Targadox

To prevent drug interactions from occurring while taking Targadox, avoid taking antacids, calcium, aluminium, magnesium, or iron products for two hours before or after taking the medicine.

It may not be safe to take other drugs (especially other antibiotics) while taking Targadox, so tell your doctor about any other medications or supplements that you’re taking. 

You should also avoid lying down after taking the medicine, as it may not dissolve completely and may cause mild acid reflux.

Targadox may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so avoid sun exposure and do not use sun lamps or tanning booths.

If you can’t keep out of the sun entirely, apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.

The skin sensitivity can persist for a week after completing the doxycycline.

How K Health Can Help

Whether you’re interested in treating acne or a bacterial infection with Targadox, 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 provider in minutes. K Health’s AI-powered app is based on 20 years of clinical data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Targadox used for?
Targadox is used to a wide range of infections, including acne, skin, eye, intestinal, respiratory, and sexually transmitted infections. It can also be used to prevent malaria.
Is Targadox the same as doxycycline?
Yes, Targadox is a branded tablet of doxycycline.
What are the side effects of Targadox?
Targadox can cause some unwanted side effects, some of which include constipation, diarrhea, fever, headache, hives, dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, sore throat, and vomiting. Contact your doctor right away if you continue to experience those side effects or any of the following: severe nausea and stomach pain, vomiting blood, nosebleeds, heartburn, pain or burning in the throat, difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, chest pain or discomfort, blood in urine or stools, or pain in the lower back, side, stomach, or leg.
What is the generic for Targadox?
The generic name for Targadox is doxycycline hyclate.

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.

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.

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