Doxycycline monohydrate is a drug used to treat bacterial infections. A doctor may prescribe it to treat common bacterial infections, such as skin or respiratory infections, however it may be prescribed for acne and rosacea as well. Patients may also take it to prevent malaria or to impede the development of anthrax. This medication is a tetracycline antibiotic that slows the replication of bacteria, allowing the body's immune system to fight the infection more effectively.
Patients should follow the doctor's dosing instructions for doxycycline monohydrate carefully. It is usually taken once daily with a full glass of water to prevent irritation of the throat. Patients should take it on an empty stomach, however if the drug causes stomach upset, the doctor may approve taking it with food. The use of antacids, multivitamins, and iron supplements, as well as urinary alkalinizers and products that contain bismuth must be avoided within two hours of taking doxycycline monohydrate. Patients should also avoid lying down for 10 minutes following a dose.
This drug may cause some side effects, which are not considered serious unless they persist or become severe. They may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some patients may also notice a loss of appetite.
More serious side effects can require immediate medical help, such as facial swelling, breathing problems, and hives, which are possible signs of an allergic reaction. Painful or difficult swallowing, unusual sensitivity to sunlight, and blurred vision may also occur. Some people may notice a severe headache or a change in the amount of their urine. Occasionally, those who take doxycycline monohydrate for a prolonged period of time may also develop a vaginal or oral yeast infection. Signs of these infections can include white patches in the mouth or vaginal irritation, itching and unusual discharge.
Rarely, doxycycline monohydrate may cause a serious intestinal condition, which can occur weeks or months following the last dose of the drug. Patients should call their doctors immediately if they experience abdominal pain, severe or persistent diarrhea, and mucus or blood in the stool. They should avoid taking any drugs to treat these symptoms, such as pain medications or anti-diarrhea drugs, unless the doctor has prescribed them. Some products may worsen the condition.
Before using doxycycline monohydrate, patients should disclose their other medical conditions, such as lupus, porphyria, or a history of diarrhea. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take this drug, as it can cause birth defects or harm to a nursing infant. Other medications and supplements should also be disclosed, such as barbiturates, anticoagulants, and other antibiotics. Patients should also use a barrier method of birth control, as doxycycline monohydrate may lessen the efficacy of hormonal birth control.