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What Are the Pros and Cons of Doxycycline for a Sinus Infection?

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  • Written By: Amanda Barnhart
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 12 April 2014
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Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights infection-causing bacteria in the body. It is used for many different types of infections, including sinus infections, or sinusitis in severe cases. While taking doxycycline for a sinus infection may help clear the infection faster, the medication can cause side effects and might interact with other drugs and supplements.

In most countries, doxycycline requires a prescription from a doctor. When using doxycycline for a sinus infection, patients typically take 100 to 200 mg per day for seven to 10 days to help fight the infection. It’s important for patients to take every dose exactly as recommended, even if they feel better before taking the full course of the medication. This helps prevent the infection from recurring. Both children over the age of eight and adults can take doxycycline, though a child’s dose is typically lower than an adult’s and is based on weight.

While most sinus infections will clear on their own, people who have severe or chronic infections may need an antibiotic to get well. Doxycycline is typically only given to sinusitis patients who have been having symptoms for several days with worsening or no improvement in symptoms. Some people worry that the overuse of antibiotics will lead to medication-resistant bacteria and infections. This is a large part of the reason doxycycline requires a prescription from a doctor who has examine the patient and determined that an antibiotic is needed in many countries.

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Like all medications, doxycycline can cause side effects in some people. The medication is safe for most people, and most side effects are not severe. Common side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe side effects are rare and include severe headaches, difficulty swallowing, severe headaches, and vision changes. Patients experiencing these side effects should stop taking doxycycline and contact their healthcare providers to determine whether they should continue taking the medication.

Other medications and some vitamins and minerals may interact with antibiotics. Patients taking doxycycline for a sinus infection should tell their doctors about all supplements and medications they currently take to prevent a potentially dangerous interaction. Common drugs that may interact with doxycycline include blood thinners, penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics, cholesterol medications, isotretinoin, and tretinoin.

Supplements that contain calcium or iron may make doxycycline less effective. Any antacids, vitamins, or supplements that contain calcium or iron should be taken several hours before taking doxycycline to prevent them from interfering with the medication. Laxatives that contain magnesium may also lower the effectiveness of doxycycline.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not take doxycycline for a sinus infection, as it can cause harm to the fetus or baby. Doxycycline may make oral birth control pills less effective. Women who take oral contraceptives should abstain from sexual intercourse or use another method of birth control while taking doxycycline.

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Discuss this Article

anon939369
Post 4

This antibiotic, Doxycycline, appears to be making me feel worse not better. Perhaps I'm allergic to it. I'm taking it to treat sinusitis. Can anyone recommend another antibiotic? I have already tried Amoxycillin with no luck. Help.

ddljohn
Post 3
@ysmina-- That's true, but doctors usually prescribe doxycycline for sinus infections when the patient is not responding to other antibiotics. If a sinus infection is not going away and other medications are not working, I think it's better to take doxycycline.
ysmina
Post 2

@alisha-- Unfortunately, those are common symptoms of doxycycline. I have taken it before for sinus infections and I had vomiting because of it.

Doxycycline is used for a wide range of infections including acne, chlamydia, chest infections and urinary tract infections. I think it's better for some infections than others. It's not the best antibiotic for sinus infections. There are other antibiotics out there with less side effects.

discographer
Post 1

My doctor gave me doxycycline for a sinus infection. I have been treated with antibiotics for sinus infections in the past, but I had never taken doxycycline before.

The antibiotic worked and cleared up the infection but the side effects were horrible. I had upset stomach and diarrhea for four days! I would have quit the medication but I was scared of making the infection worse. I don't want to take this antibiotic ever again though.

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