Doxycycline: Unexpected Side Effects You Didn’t Know About

The antibiotic doxycycline is commonly prescribed for the treatment of bacterial infections. The drug has been around since the 1950s, but its popularity continues to rise. In fact, it was recently named one of the top ten drugs of 2017 by Consumer Reports magazine.

Doxycycline belongs to a group of medications called tetracyclines. They also tend to be effective against a wide range of bacteria, including those responsible for colds, flu, strep throat, acne, gum disease, and other conditions.

They inhibit protein synthesis by binding to specific sites on ribosomes (the part of the cell where proteins are synthesized). This prevents them from producing new proteins, effectively killing the bacteria.

However, some patients taking these medicines develop serious complications. In this article, we’ll be discussing some side effects that can cause for taking doxycycline.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Taking Doxycycline

  1. You should take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t take more of it, don’t take it more often, and don’t take it longer than your doctor prescribed. There is a possibility that side effects will occur if you do so.
  2. Permanent discoloration of the teeth and a slowdown in bone growth can be caused by doxycycline.
  3. Children 8 years and younger should not be given this medicine (unless the child has been exposed to inhalational anthrax or rickettsia infection).
  4. Discuss with your doctor your past and current medical situation, lifestyle, and medications you are taking. If there is any risk of reacting to the medicine you are already taking, your doctor may change it.
  5. The medicine comes with instructions for use. Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully. If you have any questions, ask your doctor.
  6. Absorption is best on an empty stomach, but patients are advised to take this medication after meals as it causes GI irritation.
  7. Take this medicine as soon as you remember if you miss a dose. When it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time.
  8. The use of this medicine during pregnancy may cause harm to the unborn child. In case you become pregnant while using this medication, tell your doctor as soon as possible.

Common Side Effects Of Doxycycline

Usually, doxycycline’s side effects do not require medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, these side effects may disappear. Your health care provider may also be able to tell you how to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

  • Mild skin problems
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • A stomach upset
  • An appetite loss
  • A mild case of diarrhea
  • An itchy or rashy skin
  • A darkened skin tone
  • An itchy or discharged vaginal area
  • Bowel discomfort
  • Headache
  • Acid reflux

Keep in mind that this is not the complete list of common side effects of doxycycline; there can be some other unusual health situations you may face. You must keep in mind that if your problem does not go away within a few days, you have to contact your doctor.

Serious Side Effects Of Doxycycline

Some side effects of doxycycline have been reported in some patients. In general, we do not see these side effects in patients. If you have any of these side effects of doxycycline immediately contact your doctor. This list needs immediate medical attention.

  • A chilling sensation
  • Stools with a clay color
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Urine with dark color
  • Watery and severe diarrhea, which may also be bloody
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Uncomfortable feeling
  • Fever
  • Hives, welts, itching, or rashes
  • Pain in the back, legs, or stomach
  • Gum bleeding
  • Having blood in your urine or stools
  • Seeing things blurry
  • Changes in color perception, especially blue and yellow
  • Burning, discomfort, or pain in the chest
  • Skin cracks
  • Seeing less clearly
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Thyroid gland discoloration
  • Seeing double
  • General swelling of the body
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • Loss of body heat
  • Pain in the lower back or side
  • Lips or mouth sores, ulcers, or white spots
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Tenderness or pain in the stomach
  • Swelling of the feet or legs
  • Having a tight feeling in the chest
  • Weakness or fatigue that is unusual
  • The loss of weight is unusual
  • Vomiting blood
  • Pain while swallowing foods or water

Again, this is not a complete list of serious side effects of doxycycline. There can have some other health issues too, depending on your body and health conditions. A wise decision will be to talk to your doctor if any of the serious or common side effects stay for a longer period of time.

Side Effects Of During Pregnancy and Lactation

The use of doxycycline during pregnancy is not recommended. Your baby’s tooth and bone development can be affected by it.

You may wish to discuss taking a different antibiotic with your doctor. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant while taking doxycycline.

A relatively small amount of doxycycline passes into breast milk. Doxycycline, however, is not very well absorbed by babies because calcium in milk sticks to it.

In short-term use, doxycycline is unlikely to cause side effects in your baby. It has a small chance of affecting the development of teeth and bones when used for a longer period of time. It has only occurred when babies have been given doxycycline directly. Doxycycline through breast milk has not caused this problem.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need to take doxycycline for a longer period of time.

Side Effects of Alcohol with Doxycycline

Doxycycline with alcohol can really be risky. Alcohol interacts with antibiotics, including doxycycline. It is highly recommended to avoid alcohol when you are taking this antibiotic. Alcohol can also interact with doxycycline in people who have liver problems.

Taking doxycycline while drinking alcohol can reduce its effectiveness. And in some rare cases, drinking alcohol with doxycycline can cause serious health issues.

When to Consult a Doctor

The decision of whether or not to consult a doctor while taking a doxycycline antibiotic is highly individualized and should be based on the patient’s history and symptoms. If a patient experiences adverse side effects that are already listed and it stays for a longer period of time, it is highly recommended that stop searching for the solution on the internet and go and consult a doctor immediately.

Keep in mind that common side effects also need your attention if it does not go away within a few days or even a week.

Reviews Of Doxycycline

Let’s check what people are saying about doxycycline. People have some mixed-up reviews about this drug. I personally do not think this cause any severe side effects. I’ve seen it working well enough in patients. In rare cases, patients fall into problems.

This date of the review was collected from WebMD. For more reviews, you can check their data center of drugs review.

FAQ About Doxycycline

Q: Is doxycycline a very strong antibiotic?
Answer – Yes, it is one of the strong antibiotics.
Q: What should I avoid taking with doxycycline?
Answer – Alcohol, iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, laxatives, and some other medications. Talk to your doctor about your current running medications.

Q: What are the most common side effects of doxycycline?

Answer – We’ve already discussed that.

Q: Can I take doxycycline with food?

Answer – Yes, but it is recommended to take it with clean water.

Some information was collected from these sources to make sure the validation level of information is up to the mark.






Dr. Tauhid Al Araf

Dr. Tauhid Al Araf

Hi, I’m Dr. Tauhid. I’ve completed my MBBS from Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College. After completing my BCS, now working as an Upazilla Health Complex Medical Officer. I'm on a mission to Spread awareness about using and misusing drugs has become so significant nowadays. This is one of my dream projects, hopefully, this gonna help people all around the world.

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