Doxycycline Capsules or Tablets

Doxycycline capsules or tablets are medications that treat infections caused by bacteria. They don’t treat colds, the flu or infections caused by viruses. They’re a type of tetracycline antibiotic. You can take this medication by mouth with water.

What is this medication?

DOXYCYCLINE (dox i SYE kleen) treats infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by viruses.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Acticlate, Adoxa, Adoxa CK, Adoxa Pak, Adoxa TT, Alodox, Avidoxy, Doxal, LYMEPAK, Mondoxyne NL, Monodox, Morgidox 1x, Morgidox 1x Kit, Morgidox 2x, Morgidox 2x Kit, NutriDox, Ocudox, Okebo, Periostat, TARGADOX, Vibra-Tabs, Vibramycin

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Long exposure to sunlight like working outdoors
  • Recent stomach surgery
  • Stomach or intestine problems such as colitis
  • Vision Problems
  • Yeast or fungal infection of the mouth or vagina
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to doxycycline, tetracycline antibiotics, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. It is best to take this medication without food, but if it upsets your stomach take it with food. Take all of this medication unless your care team tells you to stop it early. Keep taking it even if you think you are better.

Take antacids and products with aluminum, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc in them at a different time of day than this medication. Talk to your care team if you have questions.

Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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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 medication?

  • Antacids, vitamins, or other products that contain aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc
  • Barbiturates
  • Birth control pills
  • Bismuth subsalicylate
  • Carbamazepine
  • Methoxyflurane
  • Oral retinoids such as acitretin, isotretinoin
  • Other antibiotics
  • Phenytoin
  • Warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not improve.

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

Do not take this medication 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 medication to also help reduce irritation in your throat.

This medication 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 medication. Talk to your care team 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.

If you are using this medication 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.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Increased pressure around the brain—severe headache, change in vision, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Pain or trouble swallowing
  • Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • Severe diarrhea, fever
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Change in tooth color
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature, below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date. Taking this medication after the expiration date can make you seriously ill.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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