Doxycycline (By mouth)

Doxycycline (dox-i-SYE-kleen)

Treats and prevents infections. Also used to prevent malaria and treat rosacea or severe acne. This medicine is a tetracycline antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

Acticlate, Adoxa, Adoxa Pak 1/150, Avidoxy, Doryx, Doryx MPC, Mondoxyne NL, Monodox, Morgidox 1X100MG, Morgidox 2X100MG, Okebo, Oracea, Targadox, Vibramycin Calcium, Vibramycin Hyclate

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to doxycycline or another tetracycline antibiotic, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Delayed Release Capsule, Long Acting Capsule, Liquid, Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you need to take this medicine with or without food. Some forms can be taken with food or milk, but others must be taken on an empty stomach.
  • Capsule: Swallow whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or open it.
    • Oracea® capsules: This medicine must be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
    • Acticlate® Cap capsules: You may take this medicine with food or milk to avoid stomach irritation.
  • Delayed-release capsules: You may also take this medicine by sprinkling the open capsules onto cold, soft applesauce. Do not lose any pellets when transferring the contents. Swallow this mixture right away. Do not chew it. Do not store the mixture for later use. You may take this medicine with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.
  • Delayed-release tablets: You may also take this medicine by sprinkling the broken tablets onto room-temperature applesauce. Swallow this mixture right away. Do not chew it. Do not store the mixture for later use. You may take this medicine with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.
  • Oral liquid: Shake the bottle well just before each use. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Tablets: You may take this medicine with food or milk to avoid stomach irritation. To break a tablet, hold the tablet between your thumb and index fingers close to the appropriate scored line. Then, apply enough pressure to snap the tablet segments apart. Do not use the tablet if it does not break on the scored lines.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid throat problems, if you take the capsule or tablet form.
  • Malaria prevention: Start taking the medicine 1 or 2 days before you travel. Take the medicine every day during your trip. Keep taking it for 4 weeks after you return. However, do not use the medicine for longer than 4 months.
  • Do not use this medicine for more than 9 months if you are using it for rosacea.
  • Use only the brand of medicine your doctor prescribed. Other brands may not work the same way.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how doxycycline works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Bismuth subsalicylate
    • Acne medicines (including isotretinoin)
    • Birth control pills
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Medicine for seizures (including carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin)
    • Medicine that contains aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or iron (including an antacid or vitamin supplement)
    • Medicine to treat psoriasis (including acitretin)
    • Penicillin antibiotic
    • Stomach medicine

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Birth control pills may not work as well when used together with this medicine. Use a second form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, asthma, or an allergy to sulfites. Tell your doctor if you had surgery on your stomach, or if you have a history of yeast infections.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Permanent change in tooth color (in children younger than 8 years of age)
    • Serious skin reactions, including drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS)
    • Increased pressure inside the head
    • Yeast infection
    • Immune system problems
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Burning, pain, or irritation in your upper stomach or throat
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches
  • Joint pain, unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Severe headache, dizziness, vision changes
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, or yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Darkening of your skin, scars, teeth, or gums
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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