What is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is a popular antibiotic that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of a wide variety of bacterial and specified parasitic infections. Some of the common illnesses Doxycycline can treat include acne, bacterial pneumonia, cholera, Lyme disease and chlamydia infections among others. Doxycycline can also be used to prevent or treat malaria when used together with quinine. This drug is sold using the brand-name Doryx, Doryx MPC and Acticlate. Doxycycline can be found as tablets, capsules or a solution given via an injection administered by a healthcare provider.
Every capsule of doxycycline has either 100mg or 50mg of Doxycycline Base. Other ingredients include magnesium stearate, propylene glycol, gelatin, starch, erythrosine (E127), iron oxide black (E172), shellac glaze, quinoline yellow (E104), titanium dioxide (E171), sodium lauryl sulfate and patent blue V (E131).
Doxycycline basically works closely with ribosomes to inhibit bacterial protein synthesis. This drug is part of a group of medications referred to as tetracyclines that work to prevent the production of bacterial proteins thus preventing the growth of bacteria. Like other tetracyclines, this drug is an effective antibiotic that can effectively deal with many types of microorganisms. Some of the key strains Doxycycline works actively against including E. coli, Roteus mirabilis, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus aurea, Brucella, chlamydias, Vibrio, amebas, treponemas, Haemophilus and mycoplasms among others.
Doxycycline is easily available and can be purchased at your local pharmacy. This medication is indicated for the treatment of various kinds of diseases and infections which include: typhus fever/typhus group, urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, Q fever, trachoma, psittacosis, relapsing fever, plague, cholera, mild urethral and rectal infections, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, lymphogranuloma venereum, tularemia, Escherichia coli, tick fevers, rickettsialpox, bartonellosis, nongonococcal urethritis, inclusion conjunctivitis, chancroid, Enterobacter aerogenes, Acinetobacter species, Shigella species, anthrax, syphilis, Vincent’s infection, mild gonorrhea, listeriosis, Yaws, severe acne and Clostridium species infections among others.
Mode of Indication, Dosage, and Administration
Doxycycline is a simple drug to administer. When taking medication, always take your capsule with sufficient water (preferably a full glass of water). The capsule/ tablet should not be broken or crushed, you should swallow it whole. It is perfectly fine to take Doxycycline with or without food, but it is recommended to take this medication with food if you want to remain energetic to carry on with your normal schedules. Just like any other drug, doxycycline should always be taken when you are in an upright position to avoid the medicine irritating your stomach or food pipe.
Your dose of medication always depends on the types of illness, duration of medication and doctor’s prescription. However, a Doxycycline dosage of 100mg to 200mh is usually taken once to twice per day. If you have to take doxycycline multiple times per day, your doses should be evenly spaced throughout the day. On the other hand, if you intend to take your dose twice a day, early morning and evening are the best times for medication.
For malaria prevention, it is recommended to take 100mg once daily; preferably in the morning. If you’re traveling to a malaria-prone area, you should begin Doxycycline medication at least 1 to 2 days before visiting. Additionally, remain on medication for about a month after leaving the area. However, if you’re intending to take Doxycycline for malaria prevention while traveling locally or abroad, you need to consult with your doctor for instructions.
Doxycycline Side Effects
Doxycycline has numerous effects and patients may react differently depending on the purpose of the medication. Before you buy this drug, it’s good to know what side effects you’re likely to have and when you should seek medical attention. Common side effects of Doxycycline are. Some of them require you to visit a doctor for help.
- Facial redness
- Discoloring of the teeth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Esophageal ulcer
- Swelling of the tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level)
- Small intestine and colon inflammation
- Peeling of the skin
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Skin hyperpigmentation
- Low levels of white blood cells
- Lesions on the anus or genitals
There are some Doxycycline side effects that are serious and require immediate medical attention. These include:
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
- Intracranial hypertension
- Serum sickness
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Hemolytic anemia
- Drug rash accompanied by systemic and eosinophilia symptoms
- Neutropenia- low white blood cell count
- Exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus
Contraindication/ Who shouldn’t Use Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is safe for use by adults and children of 12 years and above. It’s important to note expectant and breastfeeding mothers are discouraged from taking doxycycline. However, there are some individuals who are allergic to doxycycline and to be on the safe side, it’s better to share your medical history with your doctor in order for them to determine the best medication for you.
Before taking this medication, inform the doctor if you have or have ever suffered from any of these medical conditions.
- Past allergic reactions to doxycycline
- Liver complications
- Kidney problems
- Lupus- this is an autoimmune disease
- Oesophagitis (an inflamed food pipe)
- Myasthenia gravis, a condition that triggers severe muscle wasting
Interaction with Other Drugs
If your doctor has advised you to use doxycycline, they are already aware of the effects of this medication as well as possible drug interactions. When taking this medication, you shouldn’t stop abruptly, change or begin a new dose without consulting your doctor, healthcare provider or pharmacy specialist. Doxycycline interaction levels are classified as severe, serious and moderate. Severe drug interactions include:
- Allogeneic cultured keratinocytes or fibroblasts in bovine collagen
Doxycycline is known to have serious interactions with at least 67 different types of drugs and moderate interactions with at least 51 various types of drugs. Since the list of possible interactions presented here is not exhaustive, it is critical to share with your pharmacist or doctor a list of all products that you use. Also, have the entire list of medications you use and share it with your doctor or pharmacist. Be sure to ask enough questions especially if you have any doubts or concerns about using Doxycycline.