Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is used to treat certain infections. These include chest infections, dental infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), skin infections, rosacea and other less common types of infection. If you are travelling abroad, it is often prescribed to prevent malaria from being caught. This treatment is available in capsule form and may be purchased from PostMyMeds

Who is Doxycycline suitable for?

There are some people for whom Doxycycline is not suitable. Some of the people who should not take doxycycline include:

  • Anyone who has had an allergic reaction of any type to the medication in the past
  • Anyone who has problems with their kidneys
  • Anyone who has problems with their liver
  • Anyone who has an inflamed oesophagus (the pipe in which your food travels down to your stomach)
  • Anyone who suffers from the autoimmune disease lupus
  • Anyone who suffers myasthenia gravis – a condition that causes the severe wastage of muscles

If you have any of these or have had in the past, you must tell your doctor before taking the antibiotic.

How and when can you take Doxycycline?

Doxycycline-100mg-Capsules available at Post My MedsIt depends on the reason for which you are taking it. Generally, it is prescribed as 100mg to 200mg once or twice a day. If you are going to take Doxycycline more than once a day, try to spread out the doses during the day. This could be first thing in the morning and the last thing at night if you take it twice a day.

If you are taking Doxycycline to prevent malaria, you will need to take 100mg once a day. This is generally done in the morning. It should be taken one or two days before travelling to the area where malaria is present and continue to be taken whilst within the malaria zone and for four weeks after leaving the area.

Are there any side effects of Doxycycline?

As with almost every medication, Doxycycline has some side effects, and it is important to be aware of these before you start the course of medication. 

Common side effects (such as the following listed below) effect around one in ten people who take the medication:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sunlight

If you do experience any of these, it is important to continue with the course of medication but speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice if they continue to cause you discomfort or do not go away.

There are some more serious side effects. These are not common, affecting around one in every thousand people. These effects include:

  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Sore throats
  • High temperature
  • Diarrhoea with blood or mucus
  • Buzzing and ringing in the ears
  • Pale faeces with dark urine, yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes
  • Joint pain and muscle pain that has come on since taking the medication
  • Severe headaches and vomiting and visual disturbances
  • Issues with fingernails lifting off the nailbed
  • Swollen or sore tongue, lips or mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing

If you experience any of the above symptoms, stop taking the antibiotic and seek medical advice immediately.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored May 18, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed May 18, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm