Doxycycline

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Doxycycline is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as acne, pneumonia, and sexually transmitted infections. It may also be used for the prevention of malaria.

This medication may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • This medicine should be taken with or after food.

  • Swallow this medication with a full glass of water and sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes to prevent gastric irritation.

  • You should complete each course of antibiotics even if you feel better. Incomplete treatment might cause the infection to return or lead to antibiotic resistance. When antibiotic resistance happens, the antibiotic will not be effective anymore.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the usual scheduled time. Do not double your dose to make up for a missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to any medicines, or if you develop an allergy while taking this medicine.

  • You are breast-feeding, pregnant, or likely to become pregnant during the course of this treatment.

  • You are a child under 8 years’ old.

  • You have medical conditions such as

    • Systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as SLE (an autoimmune disease)

    • Myasthenia gravis (a disease that causes muscle weakness)

    • Kidney or liver problems.

  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

  • This medicine may cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun, hence you may get sunburned more easily.

    • Apply sunblock, wear long sleeved clothing , and avoid direct sunlight to protect yourself from the sun.
  • If you are taking Doxycycline for a long period of time, it might cause you to get a vaginal fungal infection. Symptoms include itching, a burning sensation at the vaginal area and whitish grey, thick vaginal discharge.

    • If this happens, you should see a doctor.
  • If used in children younger than 8 years old, it might cause them to have a permanent change in the colour of their teeth.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that require immediate medical attention?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Any of the following serious side-effects:

  • Dark urine, feeling tired, or yellow skin or eyes

  • Diarrhoea that does not go away, stomach pain and blood or pus in your stool

  • Headache and changes to your sight

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking Doxycycline at the same time with milk or dairy products, or indigestion medicines such as antacids or medicines containing bismuth, iron, zinc, magnesium, aluminium or calcium. These should be taken at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after Doxycycline.

Inform your doctor if you are taking Isotretinoin (a medicine used to treat acne) or Acitretin (a medicine used to treat psoriasis). Taking Doxycycline together with these medicines may increase the risk of high pressure in the head leading to headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Birth control pills may not work as well to prevent pregnancy if taken together with Doxycycline. Use other forms of birth control while on this medicine.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Disclaimers

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Jul 2021

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Doxycycline

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