Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Acticlate; Adoxa; Adoxa Pak 1/100; Adoxa Pak 1/150; Adoxa Pak 2/100; Alodox Convenience [DSC]; Avidoxy; Doryx; Doxy 100; Monodox; Morgidox; NicAzelDoxy 30 [DSC]; NicAzelDoxy 60 [DSC]; Ocudox [DSC]; Oracea; TargaDOX; Vibramycin

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Doxy; Apo-Doxy Tabs; Apprilon; Dom-Doxycycline; Doxycin; Doxytab; Periostat; PHL-Doxycycline; PMS-Doxycycline; Teva-Doxycycline; Vibra-Tabs; Vibramycin

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat pimples (acne).
  • It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
  • It is used to prevent malaria.
  • It is used to treat swelling of the tissue around the teeth (periodontitis). It is used with scaling and root planing.
  • It is used to treat rosacea.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to doxycycline or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Acitretin, isotretinoin, or a penicillin.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on this drug for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab workers know you take this drug.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking this drug.
  • This drug may cause a change in tooth color to yellow-gray-brown in children younger than 8 years old. If this change of tooth color happens, it will not go away. Talk with the doctor.
  • Do not give to a child younger than 8 years old unless other drugs cannot be used or have not worked. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Liquid (syrup):

  • If you are allergic to sulfites, talk with your doctor. Some products have sulfites.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Chest pain.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Throat irritation.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • Joint pain.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • It is common to have diarrhea when taking this drug. Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking this drug or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
  • Raised pressure in the brain has happened with this drug. Most of the time, this will go back to normal after this drug is stopped. Sometimes, loss of eyesight may happen and may not go away even after this drug is stopped. Call your doctor right away if you have a headache or eyesight problems like blurred eyesight, seeing double, or loss of eyesight.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Not hungry.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All oral products:

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Use as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • Some drugs may need to be taken with food or on an empty stomach. For some drugs it does not matter. Check with your pharmacist about how to take this drug.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Do not take bismuth (Pepto-Bismol®), calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, multivitamins with minerals, colestipol, cholestyramine, didanosine, or antacids within 2 hours of this drug.

Tablets and capsules:

  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this drug.

All long-acting products:

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

Long-acting capsules:

  • You may sprinkle contents of some long-acting capsules on applesauce. Check with your pharmacist about which long-acting capsules may be opened. Do not chew. Swallow right away and follow with water or juice.

Long-acting tablets:

  • The tablet may be broken if your doctor tells you to.
  • You may sprinkle contents of tablet on applesauce. Be careful to break the tablet without crushing the pellets. Do not chew, crush, or damage the contents of the tablet.
  • Swallow the mixture right away. Do not store for use at a later time.

All liquid products:

  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Shake well before use.


  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

All oral products:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.


  • Call the doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All oral products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Do not take this drug if it is outdated.


  • Throw away any unused part of this drug.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Store liquid (suspension) at room temperature. Throw away any part not used after 2 weeks.


  • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



© 2015 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.
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©2015 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Generated on November 26, 2015