Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is taken orally, as a pill. It helps breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria and by reducing inflammation in the skin.
The form of doxycycline you have been prescribed is extended release (ER), which means that the medication is released slowly over time. Typically, ER medications have fewer side effects as the levels of the drug are consistent over time.
Take the medication exactly as your doctor instructed. Either once or twice daily.
Tips to avoid side effects:
Doxycycline can cause irritating side effects such as nausea, stomach upset, and increased sun sensitivity. Please follow the instructions below to minimize these side effects.
- Be sure to take it with food and a full glass of water. Taking it after you eat helps prevent stomach upset from the medication. Sometimes when it is taken with only a small amount of liquid, the pill can lodge in the esophagus where it is very irritating and can cause chest pain.
- Do not lie down immediately after taking the medicine. While you are lying down the pill can reflux back up into the esophagus, where it can irritate or even ulcerate the lining of the esophagus. Take it at least 1 hour before lying down.
- This medication will make you more sensitive to the sun. Apply sunscreen every morning (of at least SPF 30), use wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing when outdoors, and do not go tanning.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- You do NOT have to avoid milk products when taking this medication. There are minimal food interactions, as opposed to the older generation tetracyclines. If you take antacids, laxatives, calcium or iron supplements, try to avoid taking these within 2 hours of doxycycline.
- While taking an oral antibiotic for several months is considered safe, our goal will be to stop it as soon as possible. It is very important to also use your topical medicines consistently.
Stop taking your medication immediately and seek emergency help if you experience any of these effects of an allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Headaches causing blurred vision
If you become pregnant while taking this medication, discontinue use immediately and message your doctor for an alternative.