Main uses in hair loss: lichen planopilaris and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, sometimes frontal fibrosing alopecia, pseudopelade and folliculitis decalvans

What is Doxycycline?

  • Doxycycline is an antibiotic, and closely related to tetracycline.
  • Although it is an antibiotic, it can also be used to stop inflammation in many types of scarring hair diseases

How is it prescribed?

  • Your doctor will advise you how much and how often to take doxycycline
  • After taking the medicine, you should remain upright for 30 minutes to prevent irritation of the esophagus and stomach
  • You should not take doxycyline within 3 hours of yogurt or dairy
  • Do not take doxycycline with iron pills, zinc pills or calcium pills
  • Doxycycline can be taken with food and food is advised if upset stomach occurs
  • Don’t use outdated doxycycyline because it can be harmful to the kidneys

Who should not take doxycycline?

There are many individuals who should not take doxycycline. Check with your doctor is this medication could be right for you. Here is a partial list of reasons why you should not take doxycycline. Other reasons also exist, so check with your doctor and pharmacist before starting.

  • Do not take doxcycline if you have allergy to doxycyline
  • Do not take doxcycline if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take doxycycline if you are going to be exposed to strong sunlight
  • Do not take doxycycline if you have liver problems
  • Do not take doxycycline if you have myasthenia gravis
  • Do not take doxycycline if you have porphyria
  • Do not take doxycycline if you have systemic lupus erythematosus as it can worsen
  • Do not take doxycycline if you are less than 8 years of age

Do any medications interact with doxycycline?

Tell your doctor if you are on any of these medications.

  • Antacids, iron, zinc or bismuth – these can stop doxycycline from working if you take them at the same time of day as the doxycycline
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) – doxycyline can increase the action of the warfarin so you bleed easier
  • Oral contraceptives.  Current evidence does not suggest that doxycycline reduces the efficacy of oral contraceptives.  Some doctors recommend using barrier protection for women on oral contraceptives using doxycycline. However, there is not a lot of evidence to suggest that this is necessary. 
  • Alcohol – alcohol may reduce the effect of doxycycline
  • Doxycycline also interacts with carbemazepine, phenytoin, barbiturates, cyclosporine, lithium, cimetidine, digoxin and methylflurane (an anesthetic in dentistry).

What are the side effects of doxycycline?

The following is a partial list of side effects from doxycyline. Check with your doctor about other side effects

  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • You can become very sensitive to sunlight while on doxycycline.  You need to avoid strong sunlight and wear long sleeve shirts,  long pants, a hat and sunscreen if out in direct sun
  • heartburn
  • Very severe headache which may be associated with visual disturbance such as blurred vision
  • sore tongue or mouth
  • yeast infections (thrush in the mouth, vaginal yeast infections in women)
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Sore or painful tongue or mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flushing
  • A ringing or buzzing noise in the ear
  • Soreness and itching of the rectal and/or genital area.
  • Skin rash.
  • Flaking or peeling of the skin.
  • Severe skin reactions which may cause you to feel very unwell.
  • Stomach or esophageal inflammation
  • Blood disorders. These are due to an imbalance in numbers of different cell types in the blood. Symptoms may include tiredness, easy bruising or susceptibility to infection.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Aches in the joints or muscles.
  • Worsening of a disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This is a disease affecting a number of organs.
  • Inflammation of the liver giving yellow color of skin and eyes
  • bowel inflammation
  • inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart

Under what situations should I stop doxycycline?

  • All medicines have the potential to cause allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions are very rare. Any sudden wheeziness, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, fever, sudden swellings, rash or itching (especially affecting the whole body) should be reported to a doctor immediately.
  • Stop doxycycline if you develop dark urine or pale stools and see your doctor right away
  • Stop doxycycline if you feel unwell in any way  and check with your doctor

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