Doxycycline is an antibiotic tablet, known as a tetracycline. This medication has a versatile range of uses, and is a generic version of the treatment otherwise sold as Vibramycin-D by Pfizer. It treats bacterial infections and is used in malaria prophylaxis for those travelling to certain regions.
- Prevents certain types of malaria
- Two doses available
- Easy to take capsule
Malaria is a potentially very serious illness, caused by the plasmodium parasite. This is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans through bites, and is particularly prevalent in certain tropical areas of the world. Once the parasite is active in a person’s bloodstream, it can spread fairly quickly by infecting other cells. It is a condition which travellers to these regions will have to prepare for, as some strains can lead to organ failure and even have fatal consequences.
Due to the existence of several strains in different regions around the world, there are a number of treatments available for malaria. Some forms of the parasite have developed a resistance to antimalarial medicines, so it is crucial to ensure that the treatment you are using is the right one for the region you are visiting. The NHS Fit For Travel website provides country-specific guidance for travellers on malaria.
Preparing for your trip well in advance is also important, as it may be necessary to begin taking antimalarial medication several weeks prior to travel. Your doctor may also advise that you carry on taking the medicine for a short period following your return.
If you think you may be displaying symptoms of malaria, you should get medical help as soon as possible, even if you have been taking your antimalarial treatment as instructed.
Doxycycline may be used in conjunction with other medication, such as quinine, for the prevention of malaria. The drug fights the infection in much the same way as it does with a bacterial illness, by hindering the offending parasite’s growth process. It does this by restricting the production of an enzyme the parasite needs to sustain itself.
Please note we do not offer malaria treatments through our site. To find out more about which antimalarial is suitable for you, speak to your GP or local travel clinic.
Please adhere to the instructions supplied when administering this treatment, and follow the directions your doctor has provided. As well as helping to ensure that the medicine is effective, doing so will also limit the risk of side effects.
- Apply as prescribed.
- For the prevention of malaria, this may be a specified dose taken once or twice a day, for up to two days prior to travel, throughout the period of the trip, and for four weeks after leaving the area with malaria risk.
- When prescribed for this purpose, Doxycycline may be used in conjunction with another antimalarial drug.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking treatment.
- Your doctor may also advise that you continue taking your medication for a short period following your return.
- Swallow tablets whole with water.
- Do not exceed the prescribed amount.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking this antibiotic.
- If you forget to take it, do not compensate with a double dose. Carry on the treatment as normal, and contact your doctor for advice if necessary.
These directions are provided only as a guide. Ensure you read the patient information leaflet fully before using this product.
As with any medicine, it is important to be aware of the side effects it may cause, so that you can contact your doctor if they occur.
If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction or experience any side effects which pose a threat to your health, seek immediate medical attention.
Altered numbers of certain types of blood cells, bruising, nosebleeds, porphyria, headache, increased cranial pressure, permanent loss of vision, tinnitus, stomach pain, loss of appetite, feeling or being sick, heartburn, diarrhoea, difficulty swallowing, ulcers, inflammation of the liver, jaundice, pancreatitis, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or muscle or joint pain.
This is not a complete list of the side effects associated with this product. A more detailed account can be found in the patient information leaflet.
Taking it with other medicines
Let your prescriber know if you are using other medicines during consultation. This drug may interact with the following: anticoagulants; penicillin or rifampicin; antacids containing aluminium, calcium or magnesium or other medicines containing iron, bismuth or zinc salts; antiepileptics such as phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin or primidone; methoxyflurane; oral contraceptives; or ciclosporin.
Conditions to look out for
Doxycycline may not be suitable for you if you have or have ever had: liver disease; porphyria; myasthenia gravis; sensitivity to sunlight; or lupus.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Talk to your GP for specific advice before taking this medication if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Driving and using machinery
If you notice any side effects which may inhibit your capacity, do not drive or use machines, and let your doctor know.
Food, drink and alcohol
You should not drink alcohol while using this treatment.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Because it may affect the efficacy of the medication, you should not drink alcohol for the duration of treatment.
Will I still be able to drive?
Your capacity to drive should not be affected by Doxycycline. However, if you notice any side effects which might make doing so dangerous, avoid driving and speak to your doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It may not be suitable for you if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult your doctor for advice before use.
How should I store it?
Make sure you keep it at room temperature and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Contained in these capsules are Doxycycline, gelatin, magnesium stearate, shellac glaze, sodium lauryl sulfate, starch, E104, E127, E131, E171, E172 and propylene glycol. Do not use this treatment if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
Doxycycline is a prescription only medication meaning that you can only buy it in the UK with the approval of a doctor.
Is it right for me?
It depends on the area you are travelling to. Talk to your travel clinic for further advice on which antimalarial is the most suitable option.
Please note that we do not offer malaria treatments through our site.
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