Doxycycline (Oracea, Doryx)
Doxycycline is an antibiotic used for treating bacterial infections.
The drug is also sold under the brand names Oracea, Doryx, Monodox, Periostat, and Vibramycin.
Doxycycline is in a class of medications called tetracyclines, and it's a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means it works against a wide range of bacteria.
Doctors prescribe doxycycline to prevent malaria and treat a wide range of infections, including:
- Pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections
- Lyme disease
- Skin infections
- Infections involving the genitals and urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Anthrax (after inhalational exposure)
Doxycycline works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.
Like all antibiotics, doxycycline will not treat colds, the flu. or other infections caused by viruses or fungi.
A 2014 study found that a low dose of 40 milligrams (mg) of slow-release doxycycline daily could be an effective and safe therapy for ocular rosacea, or rosacea that affects the eyes.
The drug company Pfizer developed doxycycline in the early 1960s, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in 1967 under the brand name Vibramycin.
In 1994 the FDA also approved the drug to prevent malaria.
Doxycycline for Acne
For many years, doctors have prescribed doxycycline to treat acne.
It's sometimes used as an alternative to another acne drug with more side effects, minocycline.
However, a study published in 2015 found that people with acne who used an antibiotic-free facial gel had greatly improved acne, according to MedPage Today .
The study suggests that using the facial gel containing adapalene/benzoyl peroxide might be a better alternative than using antibiotics such as doxycycline for acne.
There are several important warnings you should know about before taking doxycycline.
You should take this medication only to treat bacterial infections, and it's important to take it exactly as your doctor prescribes.
Using doxycycline or other antibiotics incorrectly or using them to treat infections caused by other types of germs, such as viruses, contributes to the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Every time you take an antibiotic, it kills the sensitive bacteria. Resistant germs, however, can grow and multiply, and then surviving bacteria can become resistant.
It's also important to understand that taking antibiotics, including doxycycline, alters the normal balance of bacteria in your body.
In addition to killing harmful bacteria, the medication can also reduce the amount of good bacteria that help keep other germs in check.
As a result, some people taking doxycycline develop yeast infections and antibiotic-related diarrhea.
Taking doxycycline could make oral birth control pills less effective. If you are on oral contraceptives, you should use other forms of birth control while you take this antibiotic.
Before taking doxycycline, let your doctor know if you're going to have any kind of surgery, including dental surgery.
Your doctor also needs to know if you've ever had liver or kidney disease.
Also tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Taking doxycycline can interfere with tests for sugar in the urine.
Talk with your doctor before changing your diet or your diabetes treatment plan.
Pregnancy and Doxycycline
Pregnant women should not take doxycycline because the drug can be harmful to an unborn baby.
Tetracyclines, including doxycycline, also pass into breast milk, so women who are breastfeeding should not take this drug.
If you're a woman, let your doctor know if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
It's also important to note that unborn babies exposed to doxycycline or children younger than 8 years old who take the drug may have permanently stained teeth.
Children younger than 8 should not take doxycycline except as treatment for inhalational anthrax or if a doctor decides it's necessary.
Doxycycline for Dogs and Cats
Doxycycline is often used to treat bacterial infections in dogs, cats, and other animals.
Doxycycline may be prescribed to treat several bacterial infections, such as leptospirosis, urinary tract infections (UTI), toxoplasmosis. erlichiosis, or mycoplasma.
It's also used to treat tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Because doxycycline can cause severe side effects in dogs and cats (such as nausea and diarrhea), it should be used only under the care and direction of a veterinarian.
Doxycycline Drug Interactions
Certain drugs may affect the way doxycycline works. This antibiotic could also interact with other medications.
It's very important to let your doctor know about everything you're taking, including street drugs as well as any over-the-counter (OTC) medications, herbs, or supplements.
Types of drugs that interact with doxycycline include:
- Calcium supplements
- Iron supplements and laxatives that contain magnesium
- Blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Barbiturates and anti-seizure drugs, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Oral birth control pills
Other Doxycycline Interactions
Doxycycline could upset your stomach.
Taking the drug with milk or food might help, but that may reduce the amount of medication your body can absorb from your stomach.
If you experience an upset stomach while taking doxycycline, talk with your doctor about the best way to take this drug.
Taking doxycycline could also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. While you are on the medication, be sure to avoid sun exposure whenever possible.
If you do need to be outside, take precautions to protect your skin from the sun, such as:
- Wearing protective clothing,
- Wearing sunglasses
- Applying sunscreen
If you're taking doxycycline to prevent malaria, it's important to understand that the drug does not fully protect you from this infection.
While you are on the drug, you must still take additional preventative measures, including:
- Applying effective insect repellent
- Using mosquito nets
- Wearing clothing that covers your whole body
Doxycycline and Alcohol
It's possible to drink alcohol while taking doxycycline, but use of alcohol may increase your risk of side effects, including stomach upset.
Talk with your doctor about the risks of combining alcohol and doxycycline.
Doxycycline comes in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. A doctor also can inject it under your skin.
Tablets come in varying strengths including 50, 75, 100, and 150 mg.
Don't crush or break a delayed-release capsule.
If you're taking an oral form of the drug, drink a full glass of water with each dose.
For adults, the normal dose of oral doxycycline is 200 mg on the first day of treatment.
Usually you take that as two 100-mg doses, 12 hours apart. After this initial dose, people usually take a maintenance dose of 100 mg daily for seven to 10 days.
For more severe infections, such as chronic infections of the urinary tract, the recommended dose is 100 mg every 12 hours.
In some cases, people may need to take higher doses, 300 mg a day for 10 days.
For inhalational anthrax, the usual adult prescription is 100 mg of doxycycline twice a day for 60 days.
For the prevention of malaria, you should start taking doxycycline up to two days before traveling.
Continue taking the drug for four weeks after you leave an area where malaria is a risk.
Do not take doxycycline to prevent malaria for more than four months.
The correct dosage for children older than 8 will depend on the child's weight.
Continue to take doxycycline until your course of treatment is finished, even if you feel good.
Don't stop taking the medication unless directed by your doctor.
Don't take more doxycycline than your doctor prescribed.
Taking too much of the medication can increase your risk for developing side effects.
If you or someone else has symptoms of an overdose, call a poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
If someone collapses or isn't breathing, call 911.
Missed Dose of Doxycycline
Be sure to take doxycycline exactly as your doctor prescribed.
Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy could make the drug less effective.
It could also lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria ("superbugs") that will not respond to antibiotics in the future.
If you forget to take a dose of doxycycline, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it.
If it's almost time for your next regular dose, however, skip the missed one.
Don't take twice as much doxycycline at one time to make up for a missed dose.
Q: I have rosacea and have been taking doxycycline (40 mg). Is it OK to take this all the time?
A: According to the prescribing information, doxycycline (Oracea) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safe and effective treatment of only the inflammatory lesions of rosacea in adults. It is approved as a 40-milligram dose of doxycycline taken once daily in the morning on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after a meal and with a full glass of water. According to the same literature, Oracea was not proven effective beyond 16 weeks and not proven safe beyond 9 months. You may want to contact your health care provider for guidance on duration of therapy that best meets your needs. For more information regarding Oracea, you may want to visit our Web site: http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/oracea Beth Isaac, PharmD
Q: I have a recurrent sinus infection and have been prescrived doxycycline for 30 days. Does it take that long for the antibiotic to work?
A: When an antibiotic is started for an infection an improvement is usually seen within a few days. It is important to take your full course of prescribed antibiotic even if you are feeling better. It will take the full course for the antibiotic to fully kill off the bacteria. If an antibiotic is only taken for a few of the prescribed days, the bacteria may mutate themselves to become resistant to that antibiotic. If enough antibiotics are taken this way, a strain of bacteria could develop that is resistant to all available antibiotics and could not be treated. That is why it is so important to take your antibiotic until it is all gone, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider. Laura Cable, PharmD, BCPS
Q: I take Periostat 20 mg. When is the best time to take it in terms of food intake?
A: Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body. It is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, periodontitis (gum disease), and others. Doxycycline can also be used to treat the blemishes, bumps, and acne-like lesions caused by rosacea. However, it will not help the facial redness caused by rosacea. The Periostat brand of doxycycline should be taken on an empty stomach. This means either one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal. Make sure to take Periostat with a full 8 oz. glass of water to wash down all of the drug. This will help reduce the risk of esophageal irritation and ulceration. Common side effects of Periostat include mild nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is not a complete list of side effects that can occur with Periostat. Consult your doctor or health care provider if you experience side effects that become severe or bothersome. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Sarah Lewis, PharmD
Q: What is the most common use of doxycycline mono 100 mg?
A: Doxycycline can be used for a number of different infections as follows: acne, anthrax, gum diseases, and rosacea, as well as bacterial infections such as chlamydia, typhus, tick bites, pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, Lyme disease, plaque, malaria, and some urinary tract infections. It may also be used in people who have an allergy to penicllin. For more information, you can go to http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/doxycycline. Gerald R. Levy, RPh
Q: Can I use doxycycline hyclate for a tooth infection?
A: Doryx (doxycycline hyclate) is a tetracycline-type antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections (e.g. Rickettsial infections, sexually transmitted infections, respiratory tract infections, ophthalmic infections, Anthrax, adjunctive therapy in acute intestinal amebiasis and severe acne, and prophylaxis of malaria). The most common side effects reported with tetracyclines include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, photosensitivity, urticaria, and hemolytic anemia. Antibiotic selection in bacterial infections depends on identification of the causative organism (bacteria), determination of antibiotic sensitivity, patient allergies and antibiotic safety profile. Please consult with a healthcare provider (i.e. dentist) for a detailed examination, diagnosis, and specific recommendations. Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD
Q: I was positive for Lyme disease. I took doxycycline and most of the symptoms have cleared up. Is there another test that is done to see if the disease is gone or do they do the same blood test that diagnosed it?
A: Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted to humans through a tick bite. Ticks become infected by feeding on an infected animal. Some of the common symptoms of Lyme disease are rash, fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, or joint pain. The most common symptom is a rash that occurs about 1 to 2 weeks after a tick bite, but may occur up to 36 days post-bite. Doxycycline is one of the most frequently used antibiotics for the treatment of Lyme disease. Usually, a follow-up appointment should take place about 1 to 2 weeks after symptoms resolve. Further testing is not usually performed because a positive test result can appear for years after the initial infection. It is recommended that you follow-up with your healthcare provider to ensure that the course of antibiotic therapy was effective. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Megan Uehara, PharmD
Q: I take doxycycline for MRSA. It says to take it on empty stomach, but I either end up losing it by vomiting or diarrhea. Is there something else for this?
A: Vibramycin (doxycycline) is an antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of conditions. Doxycycline should be taken with lots of non-dairy fluids to help prevent stomach irritation and ulceration. Ideally, doxycycline should be taken on an empty stomach for maximum effectiveness. However, if stomach upset or irritation occurs, doxycycline can be taken with a small low-fat, low-protein, non-dairy meal or snack. Taking doxycycline with food may decrease the absorption of the medication, thereby reducing the effectiveness. MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. Therefore, there are only a limited number of medications that can be used to treat MRSA. There are other options besides doxycycline to treat MRSA. Some of the other antibiotics that are used to treat MRSA are Bactrim DS (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim), Minocin (minocycline), and Cleocin (clindamycin). Keep in mind that all antibiotics can produce stomach upset and diarrhea as a side effect. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor regarding the side effects that you have been experiencing with the doxycycline. They will be able to weigh the risks and benefits of the medication and determine if your medication regimen should be changed. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Megan Uehara, PharmD
Q: Can doxycycline cause nausea?
A: Doxycycline is a medication that is used to treat various infections such as lyme disease, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia. Doxycycline is in the class of antibiotics called tetracyclines that work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria giving the immune system a chance at eliminating the infection. The prescribing information on doxycycline lists the following as common side effects of the medication: nausea diarrhea indigestion or heartburn vomiting sensitivity to the sun loss of appetite Some rare side effects of doxycycline include: irritation of the esophagus, tongue swelling, vision changes and yeast infection. If you are experiencing a side effect of any medication that feels “not quite right”, it is always a good idea to consult with your physician. Lori Poulin, PharmD
Q: Is doxycycline different than Malarone?
A: Doxycycline is a tetracycline-type antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections (e.g. Rickettsial infections, sexually transmitted infections, respiratory tract infections, ophthalmic infections, Anthrax, adjunctive therapy in acute intestinal amebiasis and severe acne, and prophylaxis of malaria). The most common side effects reported with tetracyclines include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, photosensitivity, urticaria, and hemolytic anemia. Malarone is a combination of atovaquone and proguanil. These medications are used to treat and prevent malaria. Malaria is caused by parasites and these drugs work to inhibit the growth to the parasites in the human body. Malarone is associated with headache, cough, abdominal pain, and vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, weakness and dizziness. Doxycycline should be taken with plenty of fluids to minimize stomach irritation. Doxycycline should not be taken with dairy products or high-fat foods. Malarone should be taken with food to minimize stomach upset. Michelle McDermott, RPh, PharmD
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas | Medically Reviewed by Niya Jones, MD
Latest Update: 2014-07-31
Copyright © 2014 Everyday Health Media, LLC
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FDA Reports Shortage of Doxycycline Antibiotic
The shortage of doxycycline recently announced by the Food and Drug Administration could leave many people searching for alternatives because the antibiotic is used to treat a wide range of conditions that afflict millions, including acne, bacterial infections, such as pneumonia and some sexually transmitted diseases, and Lyme disease. If that’s the case for you, talk to your doctor about your options before you run out of medication, because you should be able to find a suitable replacement in most cases.
The shortage, which is due to increased demand and manufacturing delays, comes at a particularly bad time, because there’s still an ongoing shortage of tetracycline, a member of the same drug class and an alternative to doxycycline. So people who need either drug have reduced options.
It’s not clear when the doxycycline shortage will be resolved, but one manufacturer, West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, expects to have more available in a few weeks, according to the FDA.
In the meantime, if your local pharmacy can’t fill your prescription for doxycyline or tetracycline, ask your doctor for a new prescription for a similar antibiotic called minocycline, which is available as a generic. Other possible alternative antibiotics include azithromycin, ceftriaxone, clindamycin, and metronidazole, depending on your condition.
We don’t recommend purchasing medications online, as you could be putting yourself at risk for potential dangerous contaminated or counterfeit drugs.
Read more tips in our previous coverage of the tetracycline shortage.
Amoxil is a broad-spectrum antibiotic from aminopenicillin group. Its mechanism of action is anti-bacterial and consists in inhibition of construction of bacteria cell walls sensitive to Amoxicillin. Cell walls serve to protect bacteria from environment and action of Amoxicillin prevents their propagation. Amoxicillin can be effective against H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoea, E. coli, Pneumococci, Streptococci, and certain strains of Staphylococci. Microorganisms producing penicillase are resistible to Amoxicillin. The medication is not active toward mycobacteria, mycoplasmas, genus Rickettsia, fungi, amoeba, plasmodium, viruses and also Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus spp. (excluding P. mirabilis).
Dosage and directions
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Tell your doctor before taking this medication if you are allergic to cephalosporins (Ceclor, Ceftin, Duricef, Keflex), have had asthma, serious liver or kidney impairement, a bleeding or blood clotting disorders, mononucleosis or any type of allergic reaction in history. You may take Amoxillin with or without food. The chewable tablet should be chewed before you swallow it. Swallow Amoxillin capsules whole with a glass of water.
This medication diminishes effect of certain contraception drugs. Continue to take this drug even if you feel fine as life circle of bacteria has certain peculiarities. If you stopped to take the drug having not completed the course of treatment it may result in their further propagation and producing of strains resistant to this medication. Do not give this drug to the sick who have similar symptoms as their illness maybe provoked by other type of microorganisms. Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, inform your doctor if you have it. If you breastfeed and take Amoxicillin, the medication may excrete in milk and cause diarrhea in your baby. Warn your doctor if you suffer from asthma.
Allergy to Amoxicillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic.
Possible side effect
Besides allergy (hives, swelling, rash) possible reaction to Amoxicillin may be diarrhea, dizziness, heartburn, insomnia, nausea, itching, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, easy bruising.
Amoxicillin is not known to decrease effect of birth control pills, increases absorption of digoxin, increases toxicity of metotrexat. Excretion of Amoxicillin by kidneys is slowed by aspirin.
Never take a double dose of this medication. If it is almost time of the next dose just skip the missed portion and continue to take the medicine according to the schedule.
Symptoms of Amoxicillin overdose may be vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, disorders of water and electrolytes balance. Contact your doctor for help.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86F (15-30C) away from light and moisture.
We provide only general information about medications which does not cover all directions, possible drug integrations, or precautions. Information on the site cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with your health care advisor or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.
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