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What Is Doxycycline Hyclate?

Doxycycline hyclate can be used to treat Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which is spread by ticks.
Doxycycline hyclate can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
Doxycycline hyclate can be used to treat urinary tract infections.
A doctor can offer consultation on the proper usage and possible side effects of doxycycline hyclate.
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  • Written By: Stephany Seipel
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2014
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Doxycycline hyclate is a broad-spectrum, oral antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of diseases. It fights bacterial infections by interfering with bacterial growth. Doxycycline has a number of side effects and can interact with or lessen the effectiveness of other medications.

Some diseases commonly treated with doxycycline include dysentery, anthrax and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Others are urinary tract infections, dental or periodontal diseases, acne, chlamydia, gonorrhea, plague and brucellosis. Some doctors also prescribe doxycycline hyclate to prevent susceptible people from getting malaria while they are traveling. Doxycycline treats only bacterial infections and does not work on viruses.

Most adults take 100 milligrams of oral doxycycline hyclate every 12 hours on an empty stomach. The length of time they take the drug varies depending on the type of infection. Women who are more than 4.5 months pregnant should not take doxycycline hyclate because it permanently discolors the developing teeth of infants. Doctors might also recommend that nursing mothers who use this antibiotic temporarily stop breastfeeding until they finish the treatment.

Doctors generally do not prescribe doxycycline to children younger than 8 years old unless the situation is particularly serious and the dangers outweigh the risks. A child who is exposed to inhalational anthrax, for example, might require treatment with doxycycline. Children are prescribed dosages based on their body weight. Doxycycline hyclate can stunt growth in children, interfere with their bone development and damage their teeth.

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Patients who experience facial swelling or itching, diarrhea, stomach cramps, yellow skin, bloody stool, dizziness or problems swallowing while using doxycycline should stop using the medication immediately and consult a doctor, because they might be experiencing severe side effects. Doxycycline hyclate makes people more sensitive to sunlight, and they tend to sunburn easily. People who have experienced a previous allergic reaction to doxycycline should not use the product.

Doxycycline makes some drugs, such as birth-control pills, less effective and increases the risk of vaginal candidiasis, or yeast infections. Patients should consult a doctor before taking doxycycline hyclate with medications such as bismuth subsalicylate, antacids or dairy products. The calcium in those substances prevents the body from completely absorbing doxycycline and can lessen the medication's effectiveness.

Patients who begin taking doxycycline should continue the medication even if they feel better. People who do not complete the treatment can develop drug-resistant bacteria that will not respond to antibiotics. Expired doxycycline might cause serious kidney damage in those with pre-existing kidney problems, so patients should throw away unused medications after they pass their expiration date.

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fBoyle
Post 3

Doxycycline is a great drug for travelers. I know some people are given doxycycline for acne and other bacterial infections. But doxycycline is a traveler's drug in my opinion. It's good for many of the ailments that travelers suffer from. I think everyone who is planning a trip to tropical areas or less developed areas of the world ought to take it as a precautionary measure.

I also know from experience that doxyclcine is great for preventing food poisoning which is always a problem in some countries.

literally45
Post 2

@anamur-- What dose are you on? If you're taking doxycycline 100mg per day or more, the chances of getting sunburned is high. You have to wear sunscreen all the time, but you should also wear long clothes. Don't expose your skin.

I was in Africa when I took doxycycline for malaria. My skin became extremely sensitive to sunlight. I avoided being in the sun between 11am and 5pm while I was on the medication. And the rest of the time, I was wearing thin, but fully covered cotton shirts and pants and a large hat.

I think it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to doxycyline and the sun. Take your precautions.

serenesurface
Post 1

I'm worried about being in Morrocco in two weeks and being on doxycycline hyc at the same time. I've heard some horror stories about doxycycline and sun burns. Is sunscreen enough? What should I do to protect myself?

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