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Doxycycline Hyclate

Doxycycline

Doxycycline is an antibiotic commonly used to manage malaria, urinary and respiratory tract infections, gum diseases, chlamydia, and syphilis. It is an oral medication prescribed by your healthcare provider. The medication is available in various strengths, and patients are generally advised to take it once or twice a day. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, it can be taken with or without food. Moreover, these medicines can cause severe allergic reactions in patients, which might cause further complications. Therefore, it is important to take your healthcare practitioner’s guidance before starting your treatment with this medication.

Product Overview

Doxycycline is a prescription drug available under the brand names Doryx, Acticlate, and Doryx MPC. This medication contains doxycycline hyclate as its active ingredient and is used to treat various bacterial infections, including respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and certain types of acne. It is also used to prevent anthrax, a serious infection that spreads as part of a bioterror attack. The medication can also be used along with other drugs to treat acne and rosacea.

It has various strengths, depending on the form people choose. The medication can be taken orally, with or without a meal, along with a full glass of water to prevent throat irritation. It is suitable for adults and children over 12, as a healthcare practitioner prescribes. Doxycycline kills certain types of bacteria by restricting their ability to form proteins, thereby stopping the bacteria’s growth and multiplication. Therefore, this medication effectively treats infections without affecting the human cells.

Similar to every medication, Doxycycline also has several common side effects, which include nausea, diarrhea, and sensitivity to sunlight. Serious side effects should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. However, there are certain precautions that people can take to prevent serious side effects. This includes informing your doctor of any allergies, medical history, or other medications being taken, as Doxycycline can interact with other drugs. In case of a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for the next dose. Do not double the dose to catch up. Store doxycycline at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. 

Uses of Doxycycline

Doxycycline is commonly used to treat malaria and tooth problems in patients with scaling and periodontitis. The medication is also helpful in managing the infections caused by certain bacteria.  These infections are as follows:

  • Rickettsial diseases (infections from tick bites)
  • STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
  • Bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis (respiratory tract infections)
  • Eye infections like trachoma, inclusion conjunctivitis
  • Acne
  • Plague
  • Cholera
  • Anthrax
  • Certain infections spread by parasites

How to Use Doxycycline

Dosage

Strengths and Forms

Doxycycline comes in different forms, which are as follows:

Capsules

  • 50 mg
  • 75mg
  • 100mg 
  • 150mg 

Syrup

  • 50 mg/5 mL

Oral Suspension

  • 25 mg/5 mL

Tablet

  • 20mg
  • 50mg
  • 75mg
  • 100mg
  • 150mg

Delayed-Release Tablet 

  • 50mg
  • 60mg 
  • 75mg
  • 100mg
  • 120mg
  • 150mg 
  • 200mg 

Delayed-Release Capsule 

  • 40mg 

Periodontal Extended-Release Liquid

  • 10%

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

Adult Dosage (18-64 Years) for Infections

  • Generic Immediate-Release: Take 200 mg at the initial stage of the treatment, with 100 mg every 12 hours. For more serious infections, continue taking 100 mg every 12 hours.
  • Doryx & Acticlate: Take 200 mg at the initial stage of the treatment, with 100 mg every 12 hours. After that, take 100 mg once a day or 50 mg every 12 hours. For more serious infections, take 100 mg every 12 hours.
  • Doryx MPC: 240 mg at the start of the treatment with 120 mg every 12 hours., followed by 120 mg once a day or 60 mg every 12 hours. For more serious infections, take 120 mg every 12 hours.

Children’s Dosage (8-17 Years) for Infections 

Generic Immediate-Release & Acticlate:

  • For children weighing below 45 kg and having lethal infections like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the recommended dose is 2.2 mg every 12 hours.
  • For children weighing below 45 kg and above 8 years of age, along with less serious infection, the recommended dose is 4.4 mg at the initial stage. Parents can also divide the medication into two doses. After that, give 2.2 mg once a day or divide it into two daily doses. 
  • For children weighing 45 kg and above, parents can give adult dosage to their child. 

Doryx: 

  • For children weighing below 45 kg, the recommended dose is 4.4 mg, divided into two doses at the initial stage of the treatment. After that, give 2.2 mg once a day or divide it into two doses.
  • For severe infection, give your child a 4.4 mg dose.
  • Adult dosage can be used for children weighing more than 45 kg. 

Doryx MPC: 

  • For children weighing below 45 kg and having lethal infections like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the recommended dose is 2.6 mg every 12 hours.
  • For children weighing below 45 kg and above 8 years of age, along with less serious infection, the recommended dose is 5.3 mg at the initial stage. Parents can also divide the medication into two doses. After that, give 2.6 mg once a day or divide it into two daily doses. 
  • For children weighing 45 kg and above, parents can give adult dosage to their child. 

Children Below 8 Years

  • Not recommended

Older Patients (Above 65 Years) 

  • These patients are given a lower dosage or a different medication schedule to prevent the drug from accumulating in the body.

Adult Dosage (18-64 Years) for Malaria Prevention

  • Generic Immediate-Release, Doryx, and Acticlate: Take 100 mg, and remember to begin the treatment 1 to 2 days before traveling to an area with malaria. Continue the treatment for 4 weeks until you leave the area.
  • Doryx MPC: Take 120 mg daily and begin your therapy 1 to 2 days before traveling to the area with malaria. Continue the treatment for 4 weeks until you leave the area.

Children’s Dosage (8-17 Years) for Malaria Prevention

  • Generic Immediate-Release, Doryx, and Acticlate: Take 2 mg once a day. Start the treatment 1 to 2 days before traveling to an area with malaria. Continue the treatment for 4 weeks until you leave the area.
  • Doryx MPC: Take 2.4 mg once a day. Start the treatment 1 to 2 days before traveling to an area with malaria. Continue the treatment for 4 weeks until you leave the area.

Children Below 8 Years

  • Not recommended

Older Patients (Above 65 Years) 

  • These patients are given a lower dosage or a different medication schedule to prevent the drug from accumulating in the body.

[Note: Remember, these recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

If it is a capsule:

  • Swallow the capsule as a whole.
  • If you can not swallow it, open the capsule and mix the contents in a spoonful of applesauce.
  • Do not lose any particles/pellets when transferring the contents.
  • Swallow the mixture immediately without chewing, and drink a full glass of water to ensure the pellets are completely swallowed. 
  • Avoid storing the mixture for later use.
  • Do not crush or break the capsule.

If it is a tablet:

  • Take the tablets with food or milk if you get an upset stomach.
  • You can break the tablet into half from the score line. 
  • Do not use it if it does not break on the separation line.
  • You can also take this medicine by mixing the broken tablets with cold, soft food like applesauce. Swallow the mixture immediately without chewing, and drink a glass of water. 
  • Do not save the mixture for later use.
  • Do not crush the tablets.

If it is a liquid:

  • Shake the liquid bottle well before taking your medication. 
  • Measure the dose with a measuring spoon or a medicine cup.
  • Drink enough water to avoid any throat irritation and ulceration.
  • Close the cap of the container tightly to avoid any contamination.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Doxycycline Work?

Doxycycline belongs to a tetracyclines class of drugs. It works by blocking the formation of bacterial proteins, which are essential for bacterial growth. By binding to certain units of these proteins, this drug prevents the bacteria from spreading, effectively treating the infection. As a result, it allows the body’s immune system to alleviate the remaining bacteria, thereby leading to recovery. Its broad activity makes it an important antibiotic for treating various bacterial conditions, including respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and certain types of acne.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects of Doxycycline may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Rectum itching
  • Swelling, redness, burning, itching, or irritation of the vagina
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Difficulty in urination
  • Sore throat or nose
  • Swollen tongue
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Changes in the color of skin, scares, mouth,  nails, or eyes
  • Headache

 

Serious side effects of Doxycycline may include:

  • Blurred or loss of vision
  • Rash 
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Skin peeling
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, throat, tongue or lips
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloody stools
  • Joint pain
  • Discoloration of teeth
  • Burning in eyes
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Chest pain
  • Low white blood cell counts
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia

[Note: This list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

  • Tooth Discoloration: Doxycycline may cause permanent changes in a child’s teeth if used during tooth development, which includes the end of pregnancy all the way to 8 years of age. This can cause children’s teeth to be yellow, gray, or brown.
  • Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea: The usage of this drug may also cause antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It can vary from mild diarrhea to serious colon infection, which may lead to death in rare cases. So, if you have a diarrhea problem, inform your doctor. They may discontinue the treatment.
  • Intracranial Hypertension: There is a high chance that Doxycycline may cause high blood pressure inside the skull. Its symptoms may include headache, vision loss, and blurry/double vision. If you are experiencing any such issues, tell your doctor immediately. 
  • Skin Reaction: Patients might develop serious skin reactions, such as toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and drug reactions with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms. Talk to a medical professional to avoid further complications.
  • Reversible Delayed Bone Growth: If a pregnant woman took this drug during their second and third trimester, their child may likely develop bone growth problems. 
  • Photosensitivity: If a patient uses this drug for a long time, their skin may become more sensitive to sunlight. Even a short period of sun exposure can cause skin rash, redness, itching, or sunburn. So, if you are using this drug, try to stay away from the sun or stay out of direct sunlight. 
  • Food Interaction: Calcium-containing foods can block the amount of drug absorbed by the patient’s body. As a result, the medicine will not work as well as it should to treat any condition. These foods include milk and cheese. Therefore, if you eat or drink these items, wait for at least 1 hour before or after taking the drug.

Precautions

  • Before taking Doxycycline, inform your doctor about any allergies you have in general or to the ingredients used in the medication. The product may contain certain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions.
  • Do not take any drug unless a medical professional has prescribed it. Failing to do so can increase the chances of bacteria developing resistance to Doxycycline, leading to its ineffectiveness.
  • Do not share this with people even if they are in the same condition. Doing this can harm them in different ways.
  • While the drug is also used for malaria prevention, it does not guarantee protection from malaria. So, avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. 
  • Tell your doctor about the products you are using (prescription, nonprescription drugs, herbal products)  when you are undergoing surgery or medical procedures, as the drugs can interact with each other, causing severe side effects. 
  • If you are using the medication for chlamydia, ensure that you are making frequent visits to your doctor to check if you don’t have any other sexually transmitted disease.
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult with your doctor regarding the usage of this drug to avoid any harm to the fetus.
  • This antibiotic may make birth control pills less effective. So, consult with an expert about alternatives or non-hormonal birth control, like a diaphragm with spermicide or a condom. 
  • Avoid using this drug if you are a breastfeeding mother, as it can pass into breast milk and may affect the bone and tooth development of your infant.

Contraindications

Doxycycline is contraindicated in patients who have:

  • Allergy to tetracycline antibiotics 
  • Liver disease caused by rare fatal hepatoxicity
  • Medical history of yeast infections
  • Colitis due to antibiotic use
  • History of lupus
  • Porphyria
  • Myasthenia gravis 

Missed Dose

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible.
  • Skip taking the missed one if it is almost time for your next dose.
  • Avoid taking extra medicine just to make up for the missed one.
  • Take your doses at the same time each day for better results.
  • Use reminders or notification apps to avoid skipping any doses.

[Note: If you have missed a medication dose and are unsure when to take the next one, consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately.]

Overdose

If you have mistakenly overdosed on Doxycycline, get medical help right away or call 911. Failing to do so can lead to adverse side effects that may get fatal in the future.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Keep the medicines in the container in which they came and tightly close them.
  • Keep it out of reach and sight of children & pets.
  • Store the medication in a safe place and place safety caps on it.
  • Store the drug at room temperature between 20°C and 25°C. 
  • Avoid keeping them in direct sunlight or moist areas like the bathroom or near the sinks.
  • Discard the medication when not in use.
  • Do not flush it down the toilet.
  • Always ask your pharmacist/doctor how to dispose of the medication.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional the proper disposal of unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Doxycycline Interactions

Doxycycline can interact with certain drugs, causing severe side effects. The following are some of these drugs:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Ampicillin
  • Penicillin
  • Coumadin
  • Jantoven
  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenobarbital 
  • Pentobarbital
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Magnesium hydroxide
  • Aluminum hydroxide
  • Simethicone
  • Bismuth subsalicylate
  • Acetazolamide
  • Acitretin
  • Aluminum carbonate
  • Amiloride
  • Aminolevulinic acid
  • Aminolevulinic acid topical
  • Aminophylline
  • Amobarbital
  • Anisindione
  • Atracurium
  • Attapulgite
  • Bexarotene
  • Cholera vaccine, live
  • Digitoxin
  • Digoxin
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Etretinate
  • Isotretinoin
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lomitapide

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Doxycycline. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal products you’re taking.]

Doxycycline Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I consume alcohol when taking Doxycycline?

It is generally recommended to stop consuming alcohol while taking any drug, including Doxycycline. Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication and may increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness, upset stomach, and liver problems. It can also impair your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight the infection. Talk to an expert if you have any concerns.

When can you take Doxycycline?

While there is no exact time to take Doxycycline, taking your medication on an empty stomach is generally advised, usually 1 hour before or 2 hours after your meals. However, if your healthcare provider has instructed you otherwise, follow their advice. Besides you can also take your medicine with a glass full of water to avoid any throat irritation.

Can I use Doxycycline for the long term?

Long-term use of Doxycycline (8+ weeks) is sometimes prescribed for conditions like acne or rosacea, but a healthcare provider should closely monitor it. Prolonged use of this drug may result in side effects like gastrointestinal issues, increased risk of yeast infections, and potential antibiotic resistance. In the end, it is necessary to take frequent medical checkups to avoid any complications.

Why is it advised to wait at least 30 minutes after taking Doxycycline?

It is advised to wait at least 30 minutes after taking Doxycycline before lying down to prevent irritation and damage to the esophagus. If it remains there for too long, this drug can cause esophageal irritation or ulcers. Staying upright ensures the medication moves into your stomach properly, reducing the risk of these side effects.

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