Is doxycycline hydrochloride effective for Lyme disease?


Quick Answer

Doxycycline effectively treats a variety of bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, states MedlinePlus. It also treats pneumonia, acne, and other infections involving the skin, respiratory, urinary and genital systems. Doxycycline is sometimes used to treat or prevent malaria.

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Full Answer

Doxycycline is classified as a tetracycline antibiotic. It's generally taken once or twice daily with a full glass of water, notes MedlinePlus. Doxycycline should be taken one hour before or two hours after antacids and calcium supplements, and two hours before or three hours after vitamin products containing iron. Although taking doxycycline with food or milk may inhibit absorption of some of the medication, it is acceptable if upset stomach occurs. It's best for patients to take the full course of doxycycline exactly as prescribed by their doctor, even if they feel well.

Potential side effects of doxycycline include diarrhea, sore mouth and itching of the rectum or vagina, according to MedlinePlus. Reporting these side effects to a doctor is necessary if they become severe or bothersome. Severe side effects require an immediate call to a doctor and include headache, blurred vision, skin redness, dark urine and yellowing of the skin or eyes. Confusion, loss of appetite, and severe weakness or tiredness are other serious side effects of doxycycline.

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