Doxycycline Side Effects: Should Doxycycline Be Taken?

Doxycycline Side Effects

A lot of people find it difficult to decide whether they should take doxycycline or not as it treats as well as give other problems as its side effects. Firstly, it is crucial to know what doxycycline is.

There are two types of bacteria in a human body: good (or healthy) bacteria and bad (or harmful) bacteria. Doxycycline is available in various brands: Acticlate, Doryx or Doryx MPC etc.

It is an antibiotic in the form of a tablet, suspension or capsule. It can also be injected as belongs to the drug class called Tetracyclines. This antibiotic helps fight against the harmful bacteria in our body as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that kill bacteria by preventing them from making proteins that is needed for their survival.

Thus, consuming it helps to prevent bacterial infections like an infection in urine, skin acne, intestinal infections, eye infections, gonorrhea, respiratory infections. chlamydia, syphilis, pneumonia, meningitis, food poisoning, dental infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) etc. Moreover, it also reduces chances of malaria.

Doxycycline Side Effects:

Doxycycline helps to treat lesions, bumps on face due to rosacea but it doesn’t cure the redness of skin. Additionally, it prevents malaria and treats infections caused by various other reasons.

Till now, you might be impressed by the number of benefits this antibiotic offers. However, not a lot of people are aware of deteriorating doxycycline side effects.

Are you taking doxycycline and is suffering from hives, difficulty in breathing, face or throat swelling, fever, severe skin issues like burning eyes, pain, redness, rashes, blistering, peeling, loosening of skin etc. This shows your allergy to doxycycline. Therefore, discontinue consuming it.

Severe symptoms of  Doxycycline Side Effects:

– skin rash

– fever

– swollen glands

– flu-like symptoms

– muscle ache

– feebleness

– bruising

– yellowing of your skin or eyes

– bloating

– clay-coloured stool

– constipation

– cough

– dark colored urine

– loss of appetite

– severe diarrhea

– bloody diarrhea

– difficulty with swallowing

– increased heart beat

– increased thirst

– indigestion

– inflammation in joints

– painful joint

– painful stomach cramps

– swelling on various parts of body like lips, around eyes , feet, legs etc.

– nausea or vomiting

– unusual tiredness or weakness

– stomach, side,back or abdomen pain

– sore or red eyes

– severe stomach pain

– sore throat

– swollen or painful lymph glands in the groin, armpit or neck.

– unusual weight loss

– tightness in the chest

– yellow eyes or skin

– dehydration: Drink tons of water.

They can occur immediately after consuming it or even after few weeks. It is highly recommended to rush for emergency medical help in case you notice signs of these severe doxycycline side effects .

Mild Doxycycline Side Effects :

– Pain in stomach, back or leg.

– Bleeding of gums

– Bloody urine or stool

– Headache

– blurry vision

– double vision

– loss of vision due to high blood pressure in your head: To cope with it, rest and drink plenty of liquid. Incase of severe headache, painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are absolutely safe to take along with doxycycline.

– slightly unable to see colors properly, especially blue or yellow

– Burning sensation or pain in chest due to Irritation of your esophagus or ulcers in your esophagus. Avoid taking dose at bedtime)

– Cracked skin

– difficulty in breathing

– discoloration of thyroid glands

– Swelling of body parts

– heartburn

– more sensitivity of skin by exposure to sunlight: If you’re going out in sunlight, wear sunglasses and clothes to cover every part of the body. In addition, it is a good idea to apply sunscreen on exposed skin.

– heat loss from the body

– nosebleeds

– pain or burning in the throat

– pain in side or back of the body

–  Should pain with swallowing

– pale skin

– pinpoint red spots on the skin

– pain or difficulty while peeing

– skin rash

– red, swollen skin

– red skin or other discoloration of skin

– swelling or redness of the tongue

– dry and flaking skin

– severe sunburn

– temporary teeth discoloration: can be fixed by getting it cleaned by the dentist after the treatment is stopped.

– unusual bleeding or bruising

– vomiting blood

– buzzing or ringing sound in your ears

– nausea / vomiting:

Eat a plain diet excluding spicy,fried food and dairy products as they act as a hurdle and stop absorption of medicine properly. Don’t forget to drink water.

Pressure inside skull (intracranial hypertension – IH) can be caused due to doxycycline though it is quite rare. Basically, this doxycycline side effect is mostly seen in women of childbearing age who are usually overweight or suffered from intracranial hypertension even before. The simple solution is to stop taking doxycycline. Unfortunately, there is slight risk of permanent vision loss or blindness too.

Intestinal problem clostridium difficile can also caused by this antibiotic due to a resistant bacteria. However, most people might not know the reason behind it as it even takes place after weeks or month of treatment. If you have this problem, don’t even think of taking anti-diarrhea medication which will make the problem even worse. We suggest going to your doctor incase symptoms like stomach pain, cramps, blood in stool are noticed.

Out of all these doxycycline side effects, the most common side effects are headache, nausea or vomiting and skin becoming sensitive to exposure of sun.

In rare cases, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can happen.

However, these mild doxycycline side effects are not very detrimental and will most probably end once the medicine becomes suitable for your body.

In order to prevent these side effects, few steps should be taken into consideration:

– Consume it during meal or even better if immediately taken before eating. This dilutes the pill by food so it does not cause any sort of irritation in your stomach. If the pill is taken with small sip of any liquid, it can get stuck in the esophagus. Thus, causing chest pain .

– Do not take Doxycycline pill right before hitting the sack. While lying down, the pill might reflux up the esophagus which can cause irritation or ulcerate the esophagus lining. So ensure taking it few hours before going to bed .

– There is no problem to have food containing calcium or iron while taking doxycycline. It will decrease absorption little bit but not affect the treatment. If you take laxatives, antacids, calcium,iron supplements, take doxycycline after two hours of consuming supplements.

–  When you are taking doxycycline, make sure that you are in an upright position like sitting, standing or walking. This helps prevent irritation of food pipe or stomach.

– You have been taking doxycycline for pimples and now they are gone so you might think that now finally there is no need of taking it. You are wrong! Do not stop taking it even if your pimples are gone. If you’ll do that, it will not work effectively and there are high chances of getting pimples again.

–  Avoid taking doxycycline during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless there is a genuinely fatal emergency and the patient have no other choice. The antibiotic can harm a fetus and in breas t feeding mothers, doxycycline gets into breast milk and can cause side effects in a child who is being breastfed.

– Avoid taking birth pills: Doxycycline can reduce the effects of birth control pills so along with it there are chances that might stop pills from acting as a contraceptive.

– Try to stay indoors during the medication to avoid exposure to sun or if you need to step out, it is suggested to use broad-spectrum sunscreen.

– Avoid taking doxycycline during tooth development period as it can cause permanent discoloration of teeth by becoming yellow or brownish color

– Avoid taking doxycycline if you previously took it or other tetracycline and had a severe reaction as taking it again could be life-threatening.

– It is highly advisable to drink lots of liquids either in the form of water or fresh juices while taking doxycycline.

– Children under 8 years are not allowed to take it. Children should only use doxycycline in case of fatal conditions for example anthrax, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and much more.

– If you have begun doxycycline treatment, ensure to take the medication as per doctor’s prescription on time as skipping doses can be harmful. Do not take overdose as it can have side effects that include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

– Doxycycline do not work well along with every medicine so ensure that you are not taking any during its medication as some medicines if taken with it might increase risk of doxycycline side effects. For example, Warfarin is a medicine that should be avoided or its dosage should be decreased if there is need to take it with doxycycline.

– If you have doxycycline in your home since a long time. Before consuming it, ensure to check its expiry date as taking an expired pill will lead to failure of kidneys.

– Before taking doxycycline, ensure to tell your doctor if you have or had any of these in order to be safe:

  • liver problem
  • kidney disease
  • asthma or sulfite allergy
  • high skull pressure
  • if you take isotretinoin, seizure medicine, warfarin (Coumadin) etc.

Always store it at room temperature away from light, moisture, and heat.

If these precautions are taken care of before taking the antibiotic, there will be most probably no doxycycline side effects.

Dizziness is also a doxycycline side effect. However, it is rarely seen in patients.

Not everyone suffers from its side effect. The number of people who get its side effect is very less about 1 out of 100 people. The doxycycline side effects will not be the same for everyone as medicine reacts differently with different bodies. Therefore, the information provided above mentions every possible side effects but it is advisable to always discuss with your doctor who knows your medical history.

Doxycycline is not only used for humans but animals as well. It is used by dogs for treating bacterial infections and infections due to Rickettsia, Toxoplasma, Borrelia burgdorferi, Leptospiros, Neorickettsia helminthoeca ( salmon poisoning ) , Canine ehrlichiosis etc.

It is used for cats as a cure for bacterial infections and infections due to organisms like Bartonella, Chlamydia felis, Hemoplasma, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Toxoplasma and more .

Humans might get doxycycline side effects. Similarly, animals can also get side effects like GI upset, including nausea and vomiting, esophageal damage etc .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

1 – What to do in case of severe side effects?

Seek your healthcare professional advice.

2 – What to do in case of mild side effects?

Do not take any other medicines. Try to treat them by natural ways such as drinking a lot of water, eating healthy etc.

3 – Can I take doxycycline after having reaction due to it before?

You are strictly advised not to as it can be fatal.

4 – Are there any alternatives?

There are many other drugs available to treat your problems. Consult your doctor.



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