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Generic Name: doxycycline

It kills certain bacteria or stops their growth
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What is this medicine?

DOXYCYCLINE (dox i SYE kleen) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It kills certain bacteria or stops their growth. It is used to treat many kinds of infections, like dental, skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections. It also treats acne, Lyme disease, malaria, and certain sexually transmitted infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • liver disease
  • long exposure to sunlight like working outdoors
  • stomach problems like colitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to doxycycline, tetracycline antibiotics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. It is best to take this medicine without food, but if it upsets your stomach take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 8 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antacids
  • barbiturates
  • birth control pills
  • bismuth subsalicylate
  • carbamazepine
  • methoxyflurane
  • other antibiotics
  • phenytoin
  • vitamins that contain iron
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

Do not take this medicine just before going to bed. It may not dissolve properly when you lay down and can cause pain in your throat. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medicine to also help reduce irritation in your throat.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control.

If you are being treated for a sexually transmitted infection, avoid sexual contact until you have finished your treatment. Your sexual partner may also need treatment.

Avoid antacids, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, and iron products for 4 hours before and 2 hours after taking a dose of this medicine.

If you are using this medicine to prevent malaria, you should still protect yourself from contact with mosquitos. Stay in screened-in areas, use mosquito nets, keep your body covered, and use an insect repellent.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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