Doxycycline is used to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; Lyme disease; acne; infections of skin, genital, and urinary systems; and anthrax (after inhalational exposure). It is also used to prevent malaria. Doxycycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
Doxycycline comes as a regular and a coated capsule, a tablet, a syrup, and a suspension (liquid), all to take by mouth. Doxycycline is usually taken once or twice a day. Drink a full glass of water with each dose of the capsule or tablet. If your stomach becomes upset when you take doxycycline, you may take it with food or milk. However, taking doxycycline with milk or food may decrease the amount of medication absorbed from your stomach. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the best way to take doxycycline if your stomach becomes upset. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take doxycycline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the syrup or suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
If you are taking doxycycline for the prevention of malaria, start taking it 1 or 2 days before traveling to an area where there is malaria. Continue taking doxycycline for 4 weeks after leaving the area where there is malaria. You should not take doxycycline for the prevention of malaria for more than 4 months.
Continue to take doxycycline even if you feel well. Take all the medication until you are finished, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Doxycycline may also be used for the treatment of malaria. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
itching of the rectum or vagina
difficulty breathing or swallowing
redness of the skin (sunburn)
yellowing of the skin or eyes
light-colored bowel movements
loss of appetite
extreme tiredness or weakness
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory. Your doctor will want to check your response to doxycycline.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking doxycycline.
If you have diabetes, doxycycline can cause false results in some tests for sugar in the urine. Check with your doctor before changing your diet or the dosage of your diabetes medicine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the doxycycline, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2015. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.