Doxycycline is a drug from the family of tetracycline drugs and is commonly prescribed in the treatment of urinary tract infections, recurrent bouts of acne, eye infections, sexually transmitted diseases and gum disease.
The use of this drug by children who are younger than eight years of age is contraindicated. One of the properties of this drug is to bind to calcium-rich substances in the body, including the teeth and the bones. Ingesting tetracyclines at this age can result in permanent staining of the developing permanent teeth of children.
There are also some other medical conditions that prevent a patient from taking tetracyclines. These include:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- A person who is on anticoagulants or seizure medicine
- Allergy to sulfa drugs
Pregnant women should also avoid taking tetracyclines since it can cause developmental disorders in the fetus. The same is true for women who are breastfeeding. Doxycycline passes into the breast milk and is passed onto the infant, thereby causing deleterious effects.
Women who are on birth control pills should also consult their doctors before taking doxycycline since this medicine can interact with the pills and reduce their efficacy.
How To Take Doxycycline
It is recommended that this drug be taken with a full glass of water, in fact plenty of fluids should be taken until the course of the medication has been completed. Some people can experience a bout of nausea after taking this medication, which is an expected side effect. A glass of milk soon after the drug is ingested is a good way to reduce the nausea.
The dose of the drug will depend upon the medical ailment you are being treated for. Make sure that you follow the exact dosage that is prescribed. Do not attempt to take an extra dose if you miss one dose or take two doses too soon together.
The patient should also avoid taking any iron or calcium supplements while they are on doxycycline medication (they should keep a gap of two hours between the supplement and the antibiotic at the very least). The medicine will interact with the supplements and the entire dosage will not be made available to the body. It will also reduce the absorption of the supplement.
Another common effect that is seen with Doxycycline is photosensitivity. This is a condition where your skin starts reacting adversely to prolonged exposure to the sun. Patients should avoid tanning beds or other high intensity light exposure. Wearing a high protection factor sun screen is highly advisable.
Some common side effects like pain in the stomach, chest pain, diarrhea, rashes on the skin and nausea may be experienced by patients who are taking tetracyclines. These occur in a small percentage of the population and are nothing to become alarmed over. Inform your doctor so that the dosage may be adjusted or other medication to help manage your symptoms may be added.
In most cases, these symptoms settle down on their own and do not require any further intervention.
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