Doxycycline belongs to the class of antibiotics known as tetracyclines. At this low dosage, this medication does not treat bacterial infections, but it may help to prevent breakdown of gum tissue. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
This medication is best taken by mouth on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal, usually 1 or 2 times daily or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless directed otherwise. If stomach upset occurs, taking it with food or milk may help. However, doxycycline may not work as well if you take it with food or milk (or anything high in calcium - more details below ), so ask your doctor or pharmacist if you may take it that way. Do not lie down for 10 minutes after taking this medication.
Take this medication 2 to 3 hours before or after taking any products containing aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, or bismuth subsalicylate. Some examples include antacids, didanosine solution, quinapril, vitamins/minerals, dairy products (such as milk, yogurt), and calcium-enriched juice. These products bind with doxycycline, preventing your body from fully absorbing the drug.
This drug works best when the amount of medication in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: sunburn (sun sensitivity), painful/difficult swallowing, change in the amount of urine.
Tetracycline drugs such as doxycycline may rarely cause a serious increase in pressure inside the skull (intracranial hypertension-IH). The risk of this side effect is greater for women of childbearing age who are overweight or who have had IH in the past. If IH develops, it usually goes away after doxycycline is stopped; however, there is a chance of permanent vision loss or blindness. Get medical help right away if you have: persistent/severe headache, vision changes (such as blurred/double vision, decreased vision, sudden blindness), persistent nausea/vomiting.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Side Effects section.
Before taking doxycycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other tetracyclines (such as minocycline); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: trouble swallowing, esophagus problems (such as hiatal hernia or reflux/heartburn).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Children younger than 8 years may be more sensitive to the side effects of doxycycline, especially tooth discoloration. Tooth discoloration has also occurred in older children and young adults. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with the doctor.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.
This drug passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: retinoid medications taken by mouth (such as acitretin, isotretinoin), barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), digoxin, penicillins, anti-seizure medications (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), strontium, live bacterial vaccines.
Although most antibiotics (including doxycycline) are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including urine catecholamine levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another condition unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases.
Proper dental hygiene may help prevent tooth and gum problems. Discuss with your dentist.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as dental exams, liver/kidney function) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Taking outdated tetracycline-related drugs can result in serious illness. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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