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Doxycyline is a pill that you take by mouth for your acne.  It is an antibiotic which has been in use for several decades and is considered very safe.  It controls the bacteria on your face which can help produce whiteheads, blackheads and pimples.  It is meant to be taken for one to six months to bring your acne under control quickly.  It sometimes keeps the acne under control for a short period of time after you stop taking it but usually the pimples return soon after you stop.  For that reason, it is meant to be used together with a medication that you apply to your skin.  That topical medication should keep your acne under control after you stop taking the pills.


The usual dose of doxycycline is one pill daily or one pill twice a day.  Doxycycline is absorbed better if taken on an empty stomach, however it is much more likely to cause stomach upset or nausea that way.  For that reason, it is better to take it on a full stomach, right after breakfast or dinner.  Doxycycline is not affected by dairy products, so you can continue to have milk, yogurt or cheese with this medication.


The most common side effect of doxycycline is increased sensitivity to the sun.  You may experience an itchy, bumpy rash if you stay in the sun too long without protection.  When you are taking these pills be extra sure to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when you can and wear protective clothing or sunscreen when you can't.


Other side effects of doxycline are mild headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, ringing of the ears.  If you experience these side effects when you are taking one pill twice a day, decrease the dose to just one pill a day.  If you are only taking one pill a day, contact your doctor to discuss what you should do.


Some people can experience diarrhea.  If you are going to the bathroom more than 3 times a day, stop doxycycline.  Some women can develop yeast infections.  This can be treated with over-the-counter creams.  If it recurs, stop doxycycline.


There is a very, very small chance that doxycycline may trigger a lupus-like reaction, causing fever and joint pains or doxycycline induced pancreatitis which is inflammation of the pancreas and may present as a severe back pain.  These are serious side effects and you should stop the medication and contact your physician if they occur.


Women who are pregnant, expect to become pregnant soon, or who are breast feeding should not take doxycycline as it may harm the baby.

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