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Doxycycline - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

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Doxycycline - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

6 min read


Are you suffering from bacterial infections? Doxycycline is the drug of choice that can stop the growth of bacteria. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.

Written by

Dr. Preetha. J

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Nageswara Rao

Published At December 14, 2021
Reviewed AtOctober 13, 2022


The broad-spectrum antibiotic, Doxycycline is used to treat various types of bacterial infections. It comes under the drug class Tetracycline. It can be used in either form such as a tablet, capsule, powder for suspension, syrup, or injection and can be given only through prescription. Doxycycline is sometimes used to treat ear, nose, and throat infections, acne, and rosacea. Children under the age of 8 can take Doxycycline, but it may result in permanent discoloration of the tooth. Doxycycline should be used with caution in pregnancy and breastfeeding women due to the discoloration of teeth in growing fetuses and the breastfed baby.

What Is The Mechanism Of Action Of Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that comes under the drug class Tetracycline. It can act against gram-positive, gram-negative organisms, spirochetes, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and mycoplasma. It exerts its bacteriostatic action and stops bacteria's growth by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis by attaching to the 30 S subunit of the bacterial ribosome of the susceptible organism. The 30 S subunit of the bacterial ribosome is not present in mammals.

What Are The Uses of Doxycycline?

Doxycycline can be used in:

  • Bacterial infections.

  • Rickettsial infection.

  • Chlamydia infection.

  • Mycoplasma pneumonia.

  • Malaria prophylaxis.

  • Syphilis.

  • Infections of the lungs.

  • Infections of the reproductive organs.

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

  • Typhus fever.

  • Acne.

  • Rosacea.

  • Sexually transmitted infections.

  • Community-acquired pneumonia.

  • Urinary tract infections.

  • Periodontitis.

  • Eye infections.

  • Intestinal infections.

  • Brucellosis.

  • Lyme disease.

  • Joint infection.

  • Wound infection.

  • Cervicitis.

What Are The Warnings And Precautions To Be Considered For Doxycycline?

  • Patients who are allergic to any Tetracycline antibiotic drugs should not take Doxycycline.

  • Liver disease.

  • Kidney disease.

  • Asthma or sulfite allergy.

  • Increased pressure inside your skull.

  • If you take Isotretinoin.

  • Seizure medicine.

  • A blood thinner like Warfarin.

  • Doctors should not use Doxycycline to treat the patient with chlamydia (a common sexually transmitted disease) infection if they have gonorrhea, which is also a sexually transmitted disease.

  • The doctor should be informed if you are pregnant or if you have become pregnant while you were on Doxycycline. Because taking Doxycycline during pregnancy or in the first half of the pregnancy can cause developmental issues of the bones or permanent discoloration of the teeth in the unborn baby in the womb in its later life.

  • Doxycycline taken when you are on birth control pills can make it less effective. Therefore, using non-hormonal methods like condoms and other techniques on your doctor's advice can help prevent pregnancy.

  • Nursing mothers should inform the doctor about breastfeeding before taking Doxycycline because it can sometimes pass through the breast milk and cause teeth and bone development in the nursing infant. Therefore, do not breastfeed while you are on Doxycycline.

  • Children under the age of 8 should be given Doxycycline only while treating severe fatal conditions. Otherwise, it is not advisable to use it in children because it can cause tooth discoloration (yellow or gray) in the developing permanent teeth in children.

What Should You Avoid While Taking Doxycycline?

  • Take Doxycycline 2 to 3 hours before taking iron supplements, calcium supplements, multivitamins, antacids, or laxatives.

  • Avoid taking Doxycycline with other antibiotics unless advised by your doctor.

  • Wear protective full sleeve clothing and use sunscreen lotion with SPF 30 or higher than that when you are outdoors because Doxycycline can cause sunburn and skin hyperpigmentation.

  • Doxycycline can cause diarrhea, which can be a sign of a new infection.

  • In case of severe watery or bloody diarrhea, consult with your doctor and do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor advises you to take it.

  • Do not consume alcohol while taking Doxycycline.

  • Do not use it in patients with an inflamed food pipe (esophagitis).

  • Do not use it in people with lupus, autoimmune disease, and those who suffer from myasthenia gravis (severe muscle-wasting disease).

What Are The Side Effects Of Doxycycline?

Side effects of Doxycycline may include:

  • Drug rash.

  • Hives.

  • Facial redness.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Difficulty swallowing.

  • Esophagitis.

  • Esophageal ulcer.

  • Headache.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Tongue swelling.

  • Upper abdominal pain.

  • Fungal infections (candidiasis overgrowth).

  • Risk of thrombophlebitis.

  • Skin hyperpigmentation.

  • Skin peeling (exfoliative dermatitis).

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

  • Vaginal itching or discharge.

  • Lesions on the genitals or anus.

  • Inflammation of the small intestine and colon.

Dangerous side effects of Doxycycline may include:

  • Tooth discoloration.

  • Developmental disorders of bones in the growing fetus.

  • Hepatotoxicity.

  • Kidney toxicity.

  • Hemolytic anemia.

  • Low platelet count.

  • Low white blood cell count.

  • Serum sickness.

  • Intracranial hypertension.

  • Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms.

  • Exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus.

  • Pericarditis.

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis.

  • Anaphylactic shock.

What Drugs Can Interact With Doxycycline?

Proper medical history of the patient should be taken by the doctor before administering Doxycycline.

  • Patients who are under anticoagulants should take it in a smaller dose while taking Doxycycline.

  • Penicillin antibiotics should not be given along with Doxycycline antibiotics because the work of penicillin is to kill the bacteria and the work of Doxycycline is to stop the growth of the bacteria.

  • Doxycycline can interact with oral contraceptives and can reduce its efficacy.

  • Doxycycline can interact with over-the-counter antacids like Aluminum, Calcium, Magnesium, and Bismuth subsalicylate.

  • Doxycycline can also interact with drugs like Barbiturates, Carbamazepine, and Phenytoin.

  • Acitretin.

  • Flibanserin.

  • Tretinoin.

  • Lomitapide.

  • Allogeneic cultured keratinocytes or fibroblasts in bovine collagen.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

  • Cholesterol medications, including statins.

  • Psoriasis medications.

  • Steroids.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis medications.

  • Diuretics.

  • Antifungals.

  • Diabetes medications.

  • Muscle relaxants.

  • Parkinson's disease medications.

  • Cyclosporine.

  • Lithium.

  • Retinoids and vitamin A supplements.

  • Migraine medications.

  • Tricyclic antidepressants.

  • Gout medications.

What Are The Dosage And Usage Of Doxycycline In Infection?

Dosage And Usage Of Doxycycline

How Should I Take Doxycycline?

  • Take the Doxycycline drug correctly as advised by your doctor.

  • Follow all the instructions on the prescription.

  • Do not take Doxycycline in greater or lesser amounts or for longer than the recommended period.

  • Drink plenty of water while taking medicine.

  • You can take most brands of Doxycycline with milk or food if it upsets your stomach.

  • Different brands of Doxycycline will have different instructions on their label about whether to take them with or without food.

  • Take Oracea, a Doxycycline drug used to treat rosacea, on an empty stomach, and avoid taking it within 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after the meal.

  • Swallow the tablet and do not chew it.

  • You can open the capsule or break the tablet and add it to the apple sauce and have it to make it more palatable, but do not store the mixture for later use.

  • The delayed-release capsule or tablet should not be broken or opened but to be swallowed as a whole pill.

  • Sometimes it may be essential to split a Doxycycline tablet to get the exact dose on the advice of the doctor.

  • You can use a dosing syringe, dose-measuring spoon, or a medicine cup to measure the liquid medicine in a correct dosage.

  • If you cannot take Doxycycline by mouth, it can be given in an injection form into the vein by the healthcare provider.

  • Do not skip the medicine before the prescribed length of time because it may increase your risk of reinfection.

  • Using expired Doxycycline may cause damage to your kidneys.

  • If there is any need for surgery, you should inform the surgeon beforehand that you are using Doxycycline.

If you take Doxycycline as malaria prophylaxis:

  1. Start taking medicine 1 or 2 days prior to entering the malarious site.

  2. Continue to take the medication every day while you stay in that malarious area.

  3. Try to use the medicine for at least four weeks after leaving the area.

  4. Use protective long sleeve clothing, mosquito repellents, and netting around your bed to prevent mosquito bites.

For Malaria Prophylaxis:

Malaria Prophylaxis

What To Do In Case Of Doxycycline Overdose?

In the case of Doxycycline overdose seek immediate medical attention. Do this even if there are no signs of poisoning or discomfort.

Missed Dose:

You can take the missed dose once you remember it, but try to skip the missed dose if it is time for the next dose. Do not double the dose to compensate for the missed dose. If you do not know what to do, ask your doctor or the pharmacist.


  • Store it in a closed container or cupboard at least one and a half meters above the ground.

  • Do not store it near the bathroom or in a moist area.

  • Do not store in front of sunlight or hot areas.

  • Heat and dampness can destroy the efficiency of the medicine.

  • Keep the drugs away from children and pet animals.

  • Keep the tablets in the original package unless it is time for them to be used.


Once the doctor advises you to stop the medicine after the recommended dosages or if it has crossed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with those drugs or throw away any unused medicine. Using Doxycycline after the expiry date can damage your kidneys.

What Are The Brand Names For Doxycycline?

  • Vibramycin.

  • Monodox.

  • Acticlate.

  • Atridox.

  • Avidoxy.

  • Doxy.

  • Doxycin.

  • Doryx.

  • Oracea.

  • Periostat.

  • Adoxa.

  • Ocudox.

  • Doryx MPC.

What Are The Substitutes for Doxycycline 100 mg Tablets?

  • Doxitas 100 MG Tablet.

  • Tetradox 100 MG Tablet.

  • Doxt 100 MG Tablet.

  • Revidox 100 MG Tablet.

  • Microdox 100 MG Tablet.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Most Common Use of Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum, tetracycline form of antibiotic prescribed in the treatment of bacterial and parasitic infections. It is primarily used against bacterial infections of the different body parts. In addition, it is used for treating abscesses and pimples in the face attributable to rosacea.


Which Infection Is Treated With Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a tetracyclic antibiotic used in the treatment of bacterial infections. The common infections treated with Doxycycline include the following.
- Acne.
- Abscesses.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Respiratory infections.
- Intestinal infections.
- Eye infections.
- Syphilis.
- Periodontitis (gum infection).
- Gonorrhea.
- Chlamydia.


Is Doxycycline a Potent Antibiotic?

Doxycycline is a potent and effective antibiotic treating a wide range of infections. It exerts both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects by preventing the progression, spread, and growth of the condition.


What Should Be Avoided With Doxycycline Medication?

One should take Doxycycline cautiously with certain antacid drugs containing aluminum, magnesium, calcium, calcium medications, iron supplements, and laxatives since these drugs significantly interact with Doxycycline. These drugs make Doxycycline less effective. So, doctors advise taking doxycycline two hours before or after these drugs.


How Rapidly Will Doxycycline Work?

One can see the improvement in about three days with Doxycycline. The medical healthcare professionals will review after four to six weeks from initial Doxycycline therapy. One should report to the doctor if there is no improvement or worsening of the symptoms in about three days.


What Are the Side Effects of the Drug Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is an antibiotic sort with a class of tetracyclines. The drug includes certain side effects.
- Skin peeling or blisters.
- Cough.
- Constipation.
- Clay-colored stools.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Bloating.
- Decreased appetite.
- Chills.


Will Doxycycline Make One Sleepy?

Doxycycline is prescribed for treating a wide range of bacterial infections in the body. This medication does not induce drowsiness, fatigue, or tiredness, so it does not make one sleepy. Seek out the doctor if one experiences severe side effects with Doxycycline.


Can Doxycycline Be Used in the Treatment of COVID?

Studies and clinical findings revealed that Doxycycline is a safe and widely accessible antibiotic possessing anti-inflammatory action along with antibacterial properties. Also, it decreased the intensive care unit (ICU) requirements when used with standard of care.


How Long Can One Take Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is primarily prescribed for acne and other bacterial infections. It works by suppressing or killing the bacteria and reducing inflammation. Doctors can prescribe Doxycycline for about 60 days. However, the Doxycycline course should last at most three to four months, as bacteria can become resistant.


How to Identify Whether Doxycycline Is Working?

Doxycycline is well and wholly absorbed following oral administration. Doxycycline works rapidly and usually takes one to two days to start its action against bacterial infections. And it usually takes two weeks for acne issues.


Is Doxycycline an Efficient Drug?

Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections and acne. It is considered a good choice of medication for acne and certain skin infections. The doctors might prescribe it with supplementary drugs to attain full potency.


Why Is Doxycycline Not Taken at Night?

Doxycycline is not advised to be taken immediately before nighttime or bedtime. The drug can reflux back into the esophagus, irritating the esophageal lining while lying down. So, one should take Doxycycline for at least one hour before bed.


Will Doxycycline Increase Blood Pressure?

Though Doxycycline is a potent and safe medication, it can sometimes cause severe side effects. It can raise blood pressure in the brain. One should seek professional help if one encounters these symptoms.
- Headache.
- Blurred vision.
- Double vision.


Does Doxycycline Affect the Heart?

Doxycycline can induce adverse effects in addition to the desired ones. Doxycycline can impair the heart’s bioenergetic function, resulting in diastolic dysfunction. Also, it can cause pericarditis, a heart-related condition.


How Does Doxycycline Influence the Brain?

Doxycycline is a potent antibiotic but can induce unwanted effects. Doxycycline increases the pressure in the brain (intracranial pressure). One should seek professional help if one encounters headaches, double vision, or blurred vision.
Dr. Nageswara Rao
Dr. Nageswara Rao



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