How Effective Is Doxycycline for UTI?

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  • Written By: S. Berger
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 18 May 2019
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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is often caused by bacteria, and usually affects the bladder, but can spread to other areas of the body in rare cases. Many people choose to treat these infections quickly, as they can cause pain, discomfort, and frequent urination. Frequently, people take doxycycline for UTI relief, because this antibiotic medication is one of the more effective treatments available, as of 2011.

Taking doxycycline to treat a UTI does not immediately kill the bacteria that cause the infection. Instead, this medication prevents the bacteria from growing and dividing, and a person's immune system cells can then attack the germs. For this reason, the antibiotic must be taken for a time frame of one to two weeks to be effective.

Usually, taking doxycycline for UTI treatment is the most effective when it is taken in doses of 100 milligrams (mg) to 200 mg each day. Children often take lower doses, based on their body weight. This dose is equivalent to 1 mg to 2 mg of the medication for every one pound (0.45 kilograms) of weight. As mentioned, the drug is normally taken for up to two weeks, although occasionally it must be taken longer to fully fight an infection.


Some circumstances can limit how well using doxycycline for UTI will work. This antibiotic affects some strains of bacteria to a greater extent, such as Chlamydia and Mycoplasma. Infections caused by other types of bacteria will therefore usually not be treated as quickly, or as effectively by this drug. Bacteria may also become resistant to antibiotics over time, so occasionally even an infection caused by Chlamydia or Mycoplasma will not respond to doxycycline.

Like all medications, taking doxycycline for UTI can cause side effects. For some people, these side effects can be so severe as to make other drugs seem more worthwhile. These effects can include a burning sensation in the back of the throat and painful reactions to sunlight, although they are rare. Other medications generally do not cause these effects.

The severity of the UTI can also determine whether doxycycline will be an effective treatment. Bacteria from this medical condition can sometimes spread to the kidneys. Generally, kidney infections that are relatively mild and that have not been present for a great deal of time can still be treated by doxycycline. Infections that have become more severe, however, can make this drug less effective in treating both the UTI and the kidneys.


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Post 4

I started taking Doxycycline last night and today after my second dose the burning and urge to urinate is already gone! I was very surprised. I am a little groggy and have a slight headache but no nausea or stomach upset and I have IBS. I'm taking a probiotic in the middle of the day between doses.

Post 3

@ysmina-- The kind of antibiotic used to treat a UTI depends on the cause of the UTI. There isn't just one cause, different kinds of bacteria can be responsible for it. Doctors will do a test to determine the bacteria and then prescribe the antibiotic that's effective against that strain.

Doxycyline is effective for UTIs that are caused by bacteria associated with chlamydia and mycoplasma. I had a mycoplasma caused UTI and I was given doxycycline. It was very effective, it cleared up the infection in a few weeks.

Post 2

@ysmina-- Doxycycline will work for UTIs, but I don't think that it's the first preference of doctors. Fluoroquinolones and sulfa group antibiotics are more commonly prescribed. These tend to work faster.

Doxycycline is usually prescribed for a UTI if someone has an allergy to other antibiotic groups. It is an effective treatment for urinary tract infections. It just has to be taken a little bit longer to make sure that the bacteria responds.

Since this is not your first UTI, and the infection seems to be returning, your doctor might be wanting to try a different antibiotic group. You should ask him.

Post 1

I'm surprised that doxycycline is one of the best treatments for a UTI because I have had had several UTIs in the past and I was never prescribed this antibiotic. Have doctors not caught up on the trend yet?

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