Doxycycline

OTHER NAMES: Doxy-C, Doxychel, Doxy-Tabs, Vibramycin, Vibra-Tabs, others

Why is this drug prescribed?
Doxycycline, an antibiotic, eliminates bacteria that cause infections, including pneumonia, acne, and venereal (sexually transmitted) disease. Doxycycline has been used investigationally to prevent traveler's diarrhea.

When should it be used?
Doxycycline is usually taken once or twice a day. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask us or your pharmacist to explain any part that you do not understand.

How should it be used?
Doxycycline comes in capsules, tablets, oral liquid and injection form. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose. Do not take more than the amount prescribed. The capsules and tablets should be taken with a full glass of water. Liquid doxycycline should be shaken well before each use to mix the medication evenly. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon from your pharmacist to be sure of an accurate dose. If you have taken all of the medication prescribed but still have symptoms, contact us. Ask us or your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

What special instructions should I follow while using this drug?
Take all the medication prescribed, even after the infection appears to have gone away. Failure to do so could allow the infection to return. Doxycycline can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, limit the amount of time you spend in the sun until you know how this drug affects you. While in the sun, keep your body covered with clothing, use a sunscreen preparation on exposed skin, and wear sunglasses. If you become sunburned, contact your doctor. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. If you have diabetes, doxycycline can cause false results in some tests for sugar in the urine. Check with us before changing your diet or the dosage of your diabetes medicine.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals.

What side effects can this drug cause? What can I do about them?

  • Nausea, upset stomach
    Take the medication with meals or a light snack
  • Diarrhea, itching of the rectum or vagina, sore mouth, skin rash
    If this problem is severe or persists for longer than two days, contact us.

What other precautions should I follow while using this drug?
If your doctor tells you to stop taking doxycycline, throw away any unused medication. Doxycycline may lose its effectiveness over time and should not be saved to treat another infection. Doxycycline should not be taken by children under 8 years of age, pregnant women or nursing mothers. Women who become pregnant while taking doxycycline should inform us. Because certain medications, such as antacids (including sodium bicarbonate), iron preparations (many vitamin combinations contain iron), calcium supplements, and laxatives containing magnesium may affect how the body responds to doxycycline, they should not be taken at the same time as doxycycline. Doxycycline should be taken two hours before or three hours after iron preparations. It should be taken one hour before or two hours after antacids, calcium supplements, and laxatives. Tell us about all prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking. Before having surgery with a general anesthetic, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking doxycycline.