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Doxycycline Syrup

Generic Name: Doxycycline Syrup (DOX i SYE kleen)
Brand Name: Vibramycin

Medically reviewed: April 4, 2018

Uses of Doxycycline Syrup:

  • It is used to treat pimples (acne).
  • It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
  • It is used to prevent malaria.
  • It is used to treat swelling of the tissue around the teeth (periodontitis). It is used with scaling and root planing.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Doxycycline Syrup?

  • If you have an allergy to doxycycline or any other part of doxycycline syrup.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Acitretin, isotretinoin, or a penicillin.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with doxycycline syrup.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take doxycycline syrup with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Doxycycline Syrup?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take doxycycline syrup. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on doxycycline syrup for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take doxycycline syrup.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Do not switch between different forms of doxycycline syrup without first talking with the doctor.
  • If you are taking warfarin, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while you are taking it with doxycycline syrup.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • If you are allergic to sulfites, talk with your doctor. Some products have sulfites.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking doxycycline syrup.
  • This medicine may cause a change in tooth color to yellow-gray-brown in children younger than 8 years old. If this change of tooth color happens, it will not go away. Talk with the doctor.
  • Most of the time, doxycycline syrup is not for use in children younger than 8 years old. However, there may be times when these children may need to take doxycycline syrup. Talk with the doctor.
  • Change in tooth color has also happened in adults. This has gone back to normal after doxycycline syrup was stopped and teeth cleaning at a dentist's office. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking doxycycline syrup, call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Doxycycline Syrup) best taken?

Use doxycycline syrup as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking doxycycline syrup as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Some drugs may need to be taken with food or on an empty stomach. For some drugs it does not matter. Check with your pharmacist about how to take doxycycline syrup.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Do not take bismuth (Pepto-Bismol®), calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, multivitamins with minerals, colestipol, cholestyramine, didanosine, or antacids within 2 hours of doxycycline syrup.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with doxycycline syrup. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure doxycycline syrup.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Chest pain.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Throat irritation.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Joint pain.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • It is common to have diarrhea when taking doxycycline syrup. Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking doxycycline syrup or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
  • Raised pressure in the brain has happened with doxycycline syrup. Most of the time, this will go back to normal after doxycycline syrup is stopped. Sometimes, loss of eyesight may happen and may not go away even after doxycycline syrup is stopped. Call your doctor right away if you have a headache or eyesight problems like blurred eyesight, seeing double, or loss of eyesight.

What are some other side effects of Doxycycline Syrup?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Not hungry.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Doxycycline Syrup?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Do not take doxycycline syrup if it is outdated.
  • Do not take doxycycline syrup if it has not been stored as you have been told.
  • Throw away any unused part of doxycycline syrup.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about doxycycline syrup, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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