Doxycycline for Malaria prevention
How to order (malaria)
For malaria prophylaxis (prevention) in areas where it is recommended doxycycline is started 1-2 days before exposure to malaria and continued for 4 weeks after exposure. Doxycycline is used for malaria prevention, usually as an alternative another anti-malaria tablet, Malarone. Malaria consultation and prescription.
The best-known brand name of doxycycline is vibramycin although it is normally prescribed by the generic name of doxycycline.
Doxycycline for chlamydia
How to order (chlamydia)
Chlamydia is treated with doxycycline at a dose of 100mg twice daily for 7-days.
Chlamydia in the UK is most frequently treated with the antibiotic azithromycin rather than doxycycline. These antibiotics are equally effective for chlamydia treatment; however, azithromycin single dose treatment is more convenient for most people and is usually preferred despite being more expensive than doxycycline
Doxycycline side effects and cautions
As with all broad-spectrum antibiotics doxycycline suppresses the bacteria normally found in the gut and and on the skin. This can lead to overgrowth of other bacteria, including clostridium, which in turn can lead to diarrhoea, which can occasionally be severe. Through this same mechanism of bacterial suppression doxycycline can also lead to the overgrowth of fungus and yeast infections such as thrush.
Most people can take doxycycline safely and with minimal side effects. However severe allergic reactions have occurred and minor indigestion and abdominal upset are not uncommon. Allergy to other tetracyclines would suggest it is not safe to take doxycycline.
People who experience indigestion or heart burn after taking doxycycline should take it whilst sitting or standing rather than lying down and to take it with food or a drink of milk.
Antacids containing calcium or magnesium reduce the absorption of doxycycline into the body. These medications should be taken at different times separated as much as possible.
Tetracyclines are not recommended for children under 12 yrs or for pregnant or breast-feeding women as prolonged use in these groups can lead to a permanent yellow staining of the teeth and even reduced or delayed bone growth.
Some people experience increase sensitivity to UV light when they take doxycycline and tetracycline. This makes them more susceptible to sun burn during the time they are taking it.
For a full list of side effects and contraindication see the patient information leaflet for doxycycline.
Doxycycline prevents susceptible bacteria from multiplying rather than killing them outright. It is bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal. Doxycycline is not normally prescribed together with bactericidal antibiotics such as penicillin as it reduces their activity.
Doxycycline has been associated with abnormality in liver function tests, normally transient, and is contraindicated in severe liver and renal (kidney) disease.