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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Doryx

Not commercially available in Canada.


  • Antiacne agent, systemic
  • antibacterial; antiprotozoal
  • antimalarial; intrapleural sclerosing agent


Doxycyline (dox-i-SYE-kleen) is used to treat infections and to help control acne. Doxycycline may also be used for other problems as determined by your doctor. Doxycyline will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Delayed-release tablets (U.S. )

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For doxycyline, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to doxycyline. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other tetracyclines, or foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Use is not recommended during the last half of pregnancy. If doxycycline is taken during that time, it may cause the unborn infant"s teeth to become discolored and may slow down the growth of the infant"s teeth and bones.

Breast-feeding—Doxycyline passes into breast milk and has been shown to cause the nursing baby"s teeth to become discolored and may slow down the growth of the baby"s teeth and bones. It may be necessary for you to stop breast-feeding during treatment. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of the medicine with your doctor.

Children—Doxycyline may cause permanent discoloration of teeth and slow down the growth of bones. This medicines should not be given to children 8 years of age and younger unless directed by the child"s doctor.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of doxycyline in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking doxycyline, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Antacids or
  • Aluminum-containing medicine or
  • Calcium supplements such as calcium carbonate or
  • Iron-containing medicine or
  • Magnesium salicylate (e.g., Magan)—Use of these medicines with doxycycline may decrease the effect of doxycycline.
  • Anticoagulant therapy—Your doctor may adjust your dose of anticoagulant therapy.
  • Penicillins—Use of doxycycline with penicillins may decrease the effect of penicillins.
  • Methoxyflurane (e.g., Metofane)—May increase your risk for serious side effects.
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)—Use with doxycyline may result in oral contraceptives less effective.

Proper Use of This Medicine

This medicine may be taken with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.

Do not give doxycycline to infants or children 8 years of age and younger unless directed by your doctor. Doxycycline may cause permanently discolored teeth and other problems in patients in these age groups.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment , even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return.

Drink plenty of fluid to avoid esophageal irritation and ulceration.

Dosing—The dose of doxycycline will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of doxycycline. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of tablets that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking doxycyline .

  • For oral dosage form (delayed-release tablets):
    • For infections:
      • Adults and children older than 8 years of age who weigh more than 100 pounds—Oral, 100 milligrams (mg) every 12 hours the first day, then 100 mg once a day or 50 to 100 mg every 12 hours.
      • Children older than 8 years of age who weigh 100 pounds or less—Dose is based on body weight. The usual dose is 2 mg per pound of body weight divided into two doses on the first day of treatment, followed by 1 mg per pound of body weight given as a single daily dose or divided into two doses on subsequent days.
      • Infants and children 8 years of age and younger—Doxycyline is usually not used in young children because it can permanently stain teeth.
    • For the prevention of malaria:
      • Adults and teenagers—Oral, 100 milligrams once a day. You should take the first dose one or two days before travel to an area where malaria may occur, and continue taking the medicine every day throughout travel and for 4 weeks after you leave the malarious area.
      • Children older than 8 years of age—Dose is based on body weight. The usual dose is 2 mg per kg of body weight once a day. You should take the first dose one or two days before travel to an area where malaria may occur, and continue taking the medicine every day throughout travel and for 4 weeks after you leave the malarious area.
      • Infants and children 8 years of age and younger—Doxycyline is usually not used in young children because it can permanently stain teeth.
    • For inhalation anthrax (post-exposure):
      • Adults and children weighing 100 pounds or more (45 kg)—Oral, 100 milligrams twice a day for 60 days.
      • Children weighing less than 100 pounds (45 kg)—Oral, 1 milligram per pound (2.2 mg/kg) of body weight, twice a day for 60 days.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. This will help to keep a constant amount of medicine in the blood or urine. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) containing estrogen may not work properly if you take them while you are taking doxycyline. Unplanned pregnancies may occur. You should use a different or additional means of birth control while you are taking doxycyline . If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

Doxycyline may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight, even for brief periods of time, may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or a severe sunburn. When you begin taking this medicine:

  • Stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., if possible.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat. Also, wear sunglasses.
  • Apply a sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Some patients may require a product with a higher SPF number, especially if they have a fair complexion. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
  • Apply a sun block lipstick that has an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips.
  • Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed or booth.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Frequency not known

Bloating; clay colored stools; cough; dark urine; decreased appetite; diarrhea; diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody; difficulty swallowing; dizziness; fast heartbeat; feeling of discomfort; fever; headache; hives, itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue; hives or welts; increased thirst; inflammation of joints; itching; joint or muscle pain; large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; numbness or tingling of face, hands, or feet; pain; rash; redness and soreness of eyes; redness of skin; shortness of breath; sore throat; sores in mouth; stomach cramps; stomach pain or tenderness; swelling of feet or lower legs; swollen lymph glands; tightness in chest; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusual weight loss; wheezing; yellow eyes or skin

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

Frequency not known

Back, leg, or stomach pains; black, tarry stools; bleeding gums; blood in urine or stools; blurred vision; bulging soft spot on head of an infant; change in ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow; chest pain, discomfort, or burning; chills; cracks in the skin; decrease in vision; difficulty breathing; discoloration of thyroid glands; double vision; general body swelling; heartburn; increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight; loss of appetite; loss of heat from the body; lower back or side pain; nosebleeds; pain or burning in throat; pain with swallowing; painful or difficult urination; pale skin; pinpoint red spots on skin; rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin; red, swollen skin; redness or other discoloration of skin; redness, swelling, or soreness of tongue; scaly skin; severe nausea; severe stomach pain; severe sunburn; sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or tongue or inside the mouth; unusual bleeding or bruising; vomiting blood

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 03/24/2006

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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