What are the Most Common Side Effects of Doxycycline?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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Doxycycline is a prescription antibiotic that is typically used to treat bacterial infections, although it may also have other uses, such as preventing malaria. As is the case with any medication, there are some possible side effects associated with the use of doxycycline. Most patients do not experience severe side effects, although any new symptoms that develop after beginning this medication should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Common side effects of doxycycline may include sore mouth, genital itching, or diarrhea. Some patients may also experience blurred vision, stomach pain, or confusion.

Stomach and digestive issues are among the most commonly reported side effects of doxycycline. Diarrhea is commonly reported among patients taking this medication. Nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting are also frequently reported. Some patients may also experience stomach cramps or abdominal pain. These side effects typically disappear once the medication has been discontinued.

Many people also report itching while taking doxycycline. This itching may occur anywhere on the body, but is most common in the rectal or vaginal area. These side effects are generally mild and do not mean the patient should stop taking the medication. If the itching is accompanied by a rash or hives or if facial swelling and difficulty breathing develop, this could indicate a possible severe allergic reaction. This is a medical emergency, and medical attention should be sought immediately.


Headaches or blurred vision may occur as side effects of doxycycline. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help with the headaches. If either of these symptoms becomes severe or if they are accompanied by severe vomiting, a doctor should be consulted right away. Mild to moderate confusion may also occur as a result of taking this medication. Extreme fatigue or muscle weakness may also be associated with the use of doxycycline.

Dark urine or light-colored stools sometimes develop as side effects of doxycycline usage. Some patients may also notice a decreased amount of urine volume while taking this medication. These side effects are not usually serious, although in some cases they may indicate digestive or kidney problems. Any side effects that become bothersome should be reported to a doctor to make sure there are no severe complications. While severe complications are rare, it is always best to be evaluated as soon as possible to make sure that this is the appropriate medication for the individual at hand.


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Post 6

How can I find out the author's sources for the article? I just had to stop using doxycycline after only 48 hours due to confusion, muscle weakness, fatigue, and a little blurry vision. The confusion was frightening. These aren't the common side effects, and my doctor couldn't find them. One site states that 6 of 2907 people (.21%) reported confusion.

Post 4

@simrin-- I'm sorry to hear that but you know, those kind of serious side effects of doxyxycline hyclate is not that common. Most people don't experience much side effects. I've also taken it several times for various bacterial infections and at most experienced headache or maybe fatigue. It was nothing serious and I finished my course without problems.

Allergic reactions can happen with every drug and everyone responds differently to medications. This doesn't mean that it will cause the same side effects in everyone.

I think that doxycycline is overall a safe drug.

Post 3

My sister had a severe allergic reaction to doxycycline and had to go to the emergency room. She had a rash all over her body. This is a dangerous drug.

Post 2

@anon277297-- Yes, increased sensitivity to sun is one of doxycycline side effects. So you might get sun burned more easily when you're taking doxycycline.

Many people take doxycycline to prevent malaria when they're taking a trip to a tropical location where malaria is most common. The sun is stronger in tropical countries, so it's important to take extra precaution when taking this antibiotic.

When I was taking doxycycline in India in the summer, I only went out in the sun early in the morning and in the late afternoon and that too with lots of sun protection cream on. I avoided the sun completely between 11am and 2pm. Despite this I still managed to get a little sun burnt.

Post 1

What about sensitivity to sun rays? Is that true?

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