Doxycycline Side Effects
Doxycycline is a synthetic antibiotic that is derived from tetracycline. Doxycycline interrupts the production of proteins by bacteria. Doxycycline is effective against a wide variety of bacteria, such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenzae, Neisseria gonorrhoea, Chlamydia psittaci, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Chlamydia trachomatis and many others.
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Doxycycline is used for different types of infections, including respiratory tract infections due to Hemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae. It also is used for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis (due to Ureaplasma), typhus, chancroid, cholera, Rocky mountain spotted fever, brucellosis, syphilis, anthrax and acne.
Doxycycline Side Effects:
As with any other medications, side effects are possible with doxycycline. However, not everyone who uses Doxycycline will experience any side effects. In fact, most people tolerate doxycycline rather well. If Doxycycline side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your doctor.
Common Doxycycline Side Effects
Doxycycline has been studied extensively in a lot of clinical trials, with thousands of people from all over the world having been evaluated. In these trials, side effects are always documented. The most common side effects of doxycycline are:
Diarrhea, Nausea, Indigestion and heartburn, Loss of appetite, Skin reaction to sunlight (photosensitivity) and Vomiting.
Serious Doxycycline Side Effects
If you experience any of following side effects, stop taking doxycycline and call your doctor at once: Watery diarrhea, Bloody stools, Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or severe throat pain, Unusual headaches, Severe stomach cramps, Feeling tired, Joint pain, Blurred vision, Signs of an allergic reaction (such as: Wheezing, An unexplained rash, Difficulty breathing, Itching, Swelling of the throat or mouth, Hives), or Fever.
Some Rare doxycycline side effects may occur in less than 1 percent of people taking doxycycline. Because these side effects are very uncommon, it is hard to tell whether they are actually caused by the medication or by something else.
These Rare doxycycline side effects include: Vision changes, Tongue swelling (glossitis), Allergic reaction, Ulcers of the esophagus, Vaginal yeast infection, Increased pressure in the skull (intracranial hypertension), Liver damage, Reduced amount of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia), lupus erythematosus symptoms, Irritation of the esophagus (esophagitis), Increased rate of red blood cell destruction, Serious intestinal infection (enterocolitis).
The Physician Desk Reference (PDR) notes warnings about doxycycline side effects that are usually not known, nor labeled on the bottle. Esophageal esophagus damage or irritation happens to be one of them, an unpleasant thing to learn from the school of hard knocks. This is only one doxycycline side effect that is largely preventable.
Doxycycline, like most antibiotics, affects people differently, but one of the most common complaints is stomach irritation and nausea. Also Another doxycycline side effect is a yeast infection, which is more difficult to prevent in some individuals.
How can I Reduce Doxycycline Side Effects?
1. Ensure that your pharmacist is aware of all herbal remedies, medications and over-the-counter vitamin supplements that you are taking. Antacids and certain minerals and vitamins are known to interact with doxycycline absorption.
2. Take doxycycline following a meal or with food. If you used to tale doxycycline on an empty stomach before and gotten away with it, the next time may be different. That is because Doxycycline induced nausea is quite unpleasant and more serious stomach irritation occurs sometimes.
3.Don’t lie down for an hour after taking doxycycline to prevent one of the most common doxycycline side effects, esophageal damage. If reclined, doxycycline may dissolve in the esophagus not in the stomach. If this doxycycline side effect occurs, a patient may gag on something as innocuous as sips of water.It may take days to treat this condition to abate, depending on the extent of the irritation or damage.
4.Don’t take doxycycline along with other medications that can bother your stomach. Space out different medications accordingly and add more food intake if needed. Pain medications and NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen) combined with doxycycline may cause significant stomach distress.
5. Talk to your pharmacist about the benefits of acid reducers instead of antacids, as these may be helpful in reducing or eliminating some of doxycycline side effects.
Doxycycline dosage: The absorption of doxycycline is not markedly affected by food, so you can use it with meals. For most infections, doxycycline is taken once or twice daily for up to 14 days. For adult infections, the usual dosage of is 200 mg on the first day of treatment (100 mg every 12 hours) and then by a dose of 100 mg/day as a single dose or 50 mg twice daily.
Doxycycline interactions: You should not take doxycycline at the same time as magnesium, aluminum, or calcium based antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids because, as food, these drugs bind doxycycline in the intestine and prevent its absorption. Doxycycline should not be used with minerals (such as iron or calcium) or with bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol).
Doxycycline may enhance the activity of Coumadin (warfarin) and cause excessive “thinning” of the blood leading to exaggerated bleeding, necessitating a reduction in the dose of warfarin. carbamazepine (Tegretol), Phenytoin (Dilantin), and barbiturates (such as phenobarbital) may enhance the metabolism (destruction) of doxycycline that makes it less effective.
Taking doxycycline during pregnancy: Tetracycline antibiotics, such as doxycycline, can have some toxic effects on development of bone in the fetus. Thats why doxycycline is not recommended during pregnancy unless there is no other appropriate antibiotic.
Doxycycline is secreted into breast milk but the extent of absorption by the breastfed infant is not known. Since doxycycline can cause toxic effects on bones, the use of tetracyclines in nursing mothers is of concern. The pharmacist must decide whether to recommend that a nursing mother discontinue nursing during doxycycline treatment or change to a different antibiotic.
Cautions and side effects of doxycycline are similar to other members of the tetracycline antibiotic group. However, the risk of photosensitivity skin reactions is of particular importance for those who intend long-term use for malaria prophylaxis because it can cause permanent sensitive and thin skin.
Reports of GERD have been cited with the use of doxycycline.
Unlike some other members of the tetracycline group, it may be used in those with renal impairment.
Previously, it was believed that doxycycline impairs the effectiveness of many types of hormonal contraception due to CYP450 induction. Recent research has shown no significant loss of effectiveness in oral contraceptives while using doxycycline, although many pharmacists still recommend the use of barrier contraception for people taking the drug to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Doxycycline is not approved for use in children under the age of 9 years because of two reasons: 1) it can cause permanent yellowing or graying of their teeth, and 2), according to CDC patient information on doxycycline, it can inhibit bone growth in premature infants during the time of doxycycline treatment. This last effect disappears when the doxycycline treatment is over. Specific exceptions are made for potentially fatal illnesses where the benefits outweigh the risks and there are no other alternatives, such as with Rocky Mountain spotted fever or anthrax.