What is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic of the tetracycline type. It is used to treat a wide range of medical problems, including sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia. The active ingredient is doxycycline hyclate which targets the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria in your urethra. Over the course of 7-10 days, Doxycycline will prevent the growth of the bacteria and cure your chlamydia infection. Doxycycline is widely prescribed by doctors around the world. Although side effects may occur, it is generally considered to be very safe to use. One study showed a 100% success rate in the treatment of chlamydia with Doxycycline.
What is the active ingredient of Doxycycline?
The active ingredient of Doxycycline is doxycycline hyclate, a broad spectrum antibiotic from the tetracycline class. Used correctly, this antibiotic may be up to 100% effective in the treatment of the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. It is also used to treat a variety of other infections and illnesses including syphilis and malaria.
How does Doxycycline work?
When you take a seven to ten day course of twice daily Doxycycline tablets, the active ingredient in Doxycycline (doxycycline hyclate) prevents the growth of chlamydia trachomatis bacteria in your urethra. If you take the tablets exactly as instructed by your online GP, the chlamydia infection will be cured and any symptoms will disappear. Studies have shown that Doxycycline may have a 100% success rate when used to treat chlamydia. Doctors consider it to be an effective first line treatment against the disease.
Who can take Doxycycline?
DoktorABC’s online GPs are generally able to consider prescribing Doxycycline tablets to adult patients with chlamydia, as long as there are no prior health issues. If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to doxycycline hyclate, or other similar antibiotics (such as minocycline or tetracycline) you cannot take Doxycycline.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important that you tell your online GP. You may still be able to use Doxycycline, but the GP will first check that it is a safe option for you. You may be recommended Azithromycin as an alternative. When you complete the short online health questionnaire, you will be asked about any relevant medical problems or medications that may be incompatible with Doxycycline.
What doses of Doxycycline are available?
If Doxycycline is safe for you to use, your online GP will issue a prescription and treatment according to your individual needs. This will come with specific instructions about how to take the tablets. Generally, the treatment for chlamydia is a seven to ten day course of tablets. A 100mg tablet is taken twice a day, for as long as instructed. Although any symptoms of chlamydia may disappear shortly after you begin treatment with Doxycycline, it is important to take all the prescribed tablets exactly as instructed. The infection may not be fully healed until you have finished the full course of antibiotics.
Even if your symptoms appear to have cleared up, you may still be able to infect others with chlamydia. You should either not have sex, or should only have sex with a condom until the course of antibiotics is completed.
How to take Doxycycline?
Your online GP will give you precise individual instructions about how to take your Doxycycline tablets. Generally, when treating chlamydia, Doxycycline a single 100mg tablet is taken twice daily. The tablet may be swallowed with a full glass of water, or with milk or food if the medicine irritates your stomach. It is important to take each tablet when you are standing or sitting down. To prevent irritation or ulceration of your gullet, you should not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking a Doxycycline tablet.
Most prescriptions for Doxycycline are for a 7-10 day course of treatment. You should take your tablets as instructed for the full duration of this period and must not drink alcohol during this time. Even if any symptoms of chlamydia have disappeared, you may still be infectious until you have finished the full course of Doxycycline.
Can I take Doxycycline and drink alcohol?
Our online GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol while you are taking any prescription medicine. Doxycycline is not compatible with alcohol and you should not drink at all while you are using this medication. If you feel that you cannot abstain from alcohol for the 7-10 days that it takes to treat chlamydia, you should tell your online GP.
What are the side effects of Doxycycline?
Your Doxycycline tablets will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you take Doxycycline exactly as directed by our online GP, you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Common side effects
- Headaches, nausea or vomiting.
- Sensitivity to sunlight.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 1,000 people.
- Bruising or bleeding you can't explain (including nosebleeds), a sore throat, a high temperature (38C or above) and you feel tired or generally unwell.
- Severe and persistent diarrhoea, or diarrhoea that contains blood or mucus.
- Aching joints or muscle pains that are not related to physical exertion.
- Severe headaches, vomiting and problems with your vision.
- Losing fingernails.
- Sore or swollen mouth, lips or tongue.
- Severe stomach pains.
If you experience serious discomfort we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When not to take Doxycycline?
You cannot take Doxycycline if you are allergic to doxycycline hyclate, or other similar antibiotics (such as minocycline or tetracycline). When you fill in the short online medical questionnaire it is important to mention any health problems and medications that you are taking. If the duty GP can’t prescribe Doxycycline, you may be offered Azithromycin instead. If you have any of the following medical conditions, your online GP will check whether Doxycycline is safe for you to use, and whether you need to take special precautions.
- Liver disease
- Myasthenia gravis
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Medications and Treatments
- Warfarin or other anticoagulants
- Penicillin or rifampicin (to treat infections)
- Medicines such as antacids containing aluminium, calcium or magnesium or other medicines containing iron, bismuth or zinc salts. Do not take at the same time as Doxycycline capsules, as absorption of doxycycline may be reduced.
- Phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin or primidone (to treat epilepsy)
- Oral contraceptives (the pill)
- Methoxyflurane (an anaesthetic),
- Ciclosporin (used following organ transplants)
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.