- Side Effects
- Patient Information Leaflet
What is Doxycycline for Malaria
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that is effective in fighting a broad range of bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It is an antibacterial drug used in the treatment of bacterial and parasitic infections such as bacterial pneumonia, cholera, Lyme disease and acne.
Other health issues to be treated by Doxycycline include urinary tract infections, intestinal infections, eye infections, gonorrhoea and (gum disease).
Before using this medication, it is important to consult your doctor to ensure you aren’t allergic to it or any other form of tetracycline antibiotic.
What are the side effects of Doxycycline?
It is unusual to experience side effects when taking this medication however, some users may experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, a loss of appetite, itching of the rectum or vagina, a sore or irritated throat and swollen tongue, dry mouth, anxiety, back pain and changes in colour of scars, skin, eyes, nails or mouth.
In some cases, it can also make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, and as such, it would be necessary to wear suntan lotion and long sleeved clothes, as well as a hat and sunglasses, whilst taking the medication.
If you are allergic to doxycycline or else you experience any of the following, it is crucial to seek medical care right away:
- headache and blurred vision, seeing double or loss of vision
- a rash that may occur with swollen glands or a fever
- skin peeling, redness or blistering
- difficulty breathing and swallowing
- swelling of the eyes, face, throat, tongue and/or lips
- unusual bruising and/or bleeding
- stomach cramps, watery or bloody stools
- joint and/or chest pain
Long-term side effects can include:
- discolouration of adult teeth
Why choose Doxycycline?
While doxycycline is most commonly used to prevent and treat malaria, it is also frequently prescribed by doctors to treat mild to severe acne. The use of doxycycline, in this instance, can significantly improve the appearance and confidence of those who suffer from this common skin condition.
Alongside these types of infection, it also works on those spread by mites, lice and ticks and, in the case of malaria, mosquitoes, by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.
Can I buy Doxycycline Online?
Doxycycline can be purchased online with a prescription from either your GP or one of the doctors at Click Pharmacy. You will be advised as to what amount you will require to complete the appropriate treatment.
It comes in packs of 100mg tablets in the following amounts:
One week (37 tablets)
2 weeks (44 tablets)
3 weeks (51 tablets)
4 weeks (58 tablets)
8 weeks (86 tablets)
12 weeks (114 tablets)
How effective is Doxycycline?
While doxycycline is efficient in tackling various infections, including pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and oral herpes, it is very commonly used and highly effective at preventing and treating malaria. It is one of the most effective medications to take when travelling in areas where malaria is resistant to chloroquine.
The effectiveness of doxycycline is affected by certain medicines and supplements, including antacids which contain calcium, magnesium, aluminium and iron. As such, if you are prescribed any of these medications, then it will be advisable to take your doxycycline 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking antacids and 2 hours before or 4 hours after products containing iron.
Whilst it is a highly effective defence against malaria, it does not give 100% protection, so you must also use insect repellants, wear long sleeves and trousers, use mosquito nets and take other such protective measures.
What dose should I choose?
While this treatment can be taken regularly, it is usually intended for short-term use, and you will need to consult a medical professional to determine the ideal dose for you. You can also contact our experts at Click Pharmacy via telephone or email for further help and guidance.
Generally, the dosage is 1 or 2 doses prior to departure, as well as throughout your trip and for four weeks after leaving an area where you could be exposed to malaria.
How should I take Doxycycline?
Doxycycline must be taken at the same hour each day for as long as it has been prescribed and not in greater or smaller quantities than recommended. For malaria, it is important to follow the treatment plan exactly to ensure that you are fully protected from the disease.
It is recommended that the tablets are taken while standing, with food and a large glass of water or milk and if you forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as possible.
Do not double the dosage in the case of forgetting a tablet.
What are the advantages of taking Doxycycline?
The three main anti-malaria tablet options are equally effective, and each one will be prescribed based on the drug resistance to strains of malaria in the area you are travelling to, as well as which is best to be used alongside other medications you are taking and whether or not you are pregnant. There are also no psychological implications with Doxycycline, and it is one of the most affordable forms of an anti-malarial.
What does Doxycycline contain?
Each capsule contains either 50mg or 100mg of Doxycycline base. Other ingredients include:
- magnesium stearate
- shellac glaze
- sodium lauryl sulfate
How does Doxycycline work?
Doxycycline works quickly to kill bacteria that can cause a number of infections in the body. It prevents bacterial protein synthesis, meaning it ultimately stops bacteria from multiplying and spreading. If you’re using this medication to prevent or treat malaria, Doxycycline will kill the parasite responsible for causing the illness. Similarly, if being used to treat acne, the treatment will reduce the overall amount of bacteria on the skin and eventually clear up the problem.
Alternatives to Doxycycline
There are several prescription anti-malarial options available in the UK. Although, note that each treatment has different levels of suitability. The most popular alternatives to Doxycycline in the UK are:
Also, the alternative options for Doxycycline are considered ideal for individuals who turn out to be particularly sensitive to the side effects of Doxycycline.
While taking anti-malarial medication, remember that it is vital to practice mosquito bite prevention, as well. Experts recommend the following mosquito bite prevention techniques:
- Use a high-quality insect repellent
- Use a mosquito net
- Close the windows while you sleep
- Wear protective clothing (full sleeves, pants) to cover exposed skin
- Avoid staying in areas that are more likely to expose you to mosquitos or insects
Doxycycline vs Malarone
Malarone is a medicine that contains atovaquone. Atovaquone is an antiprotozoal agent as well as proguanil, which is an antimalarial. This means that Malarone can treat and prevent malaria caused by mosquito bites. It is a multi-purpose medicine commonly used by travellers visiting malaria-ridden regions.
The medication eliminates malaria parasites that reside within red blood cells or other tissues in the body. You are supposed to take Malarone once per day. The doses should start one or two days before you take a trip to a malaria-ridden area. It would be best to continue the treatment during the trip and seven days after leaving.
On the other hand, you can use Doxycycline tablets to prevent malaria. It is especially effective in regions with multidrug-resistant P. falciparum. You are supposed to take Doxycycline once every single day. Similar to Malarone, start taking the medicine one or two days before you take a trip to a malaria-endemic area. Furthermore, continue taking the treatment during the trip. However, remember to take Doxycycline for a month after leaving the area.
Can pregnant or breastfeeding women use Doxycycline Capsules?
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use Doxycycline Capsules. This is because it can affect the growth of teeth in children.
Can children use Doxycycline Capsules?
Children under the age of 12 years old must not use Doxycycline Capsules. This is because these capsules affect the growth of teeth and children under the age of 1 have several teeth growing.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Doxycycline Capsules?
You should not drink any alcohol at all while taking Doxycycline Capsules.
What is the difference between Doxycycline Capsules and Vibramycin-D?
While they are both effectively used to treat bacterial infections the main difference is branding and price. Vibramycin-D is the branded version of Doxycycline, making it more expensive than Doxycycline.
What if I forget to take Doxycycline Capsules?
If you forget to take your dose of Doxycycline Capsules you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. If it is almost time for your next dose you should skip the previous dose you just missed and continue as normal. You should never take two doses at once, even if you are making up for a skipped dose.
Like all medicines, after taking Doxycycline Capsules you may experience a number of side effects. Common side effects and how to overcome them include:
- Headache: you should drink plenty of water to ensure you are hydrated. You should also take painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.
- Nausea: you should stick to simple and well balanced meals. To prevent nausea it is advised to take Doxycycline after a well balanced meal.
- Sensitivity to sunlight: when you go outside you should wear full sleeved clothes and sunglasses. You should also wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. You should refrain from using artificial tans and tanning beds.