Can you drink alcohol with doxycycline?

Published on February 7th, 2013

Doxycycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic. It is listed in the class of antibiotics known as tetracyclines. It is typically prescribed to those with respiratory tract infections because its affects certain bacterias. Doxycycline is also used to treat malaria and lyme disease. Just as with most medications, doxycycline has side effects and contraindications. When taking doxycycline is not recommended to use alcohol however it is not prohibited.

doxycycline image

Doxycycline and Alcohol | Image Courtesy of NIH.gov

Alcohol and Doxycycline

While alcohol is not prohibited while being treated with doxycycline it is also no recommended. While one to two drinks will not cause adverse effects, if you binge drink or are a chronic alcohol drinker the effectiveness of the medication can be lessened. According to studies published in the American Society of Microbiology Journal and the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology those taking doxycycline and who consume alcohol heavily or long-term eliminate the doxycycline from their systems more quickly than healthy patients. The alcohol is essentially lowering the effectiveness of the medication. For those with a history of chronic alcohol use will be prescribed a more frequent dosage to ensure the antibiotic is strong enough within the patients system to treat the medical condition.

Side Effects Of Doxycycline

  • Sunburn
  • Darkening of your urine
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Liver damage

Treatment with Doxycycline

If you are receiving Doxycycline as a form of treatment for a medical condition it is advised to avoid heavy drinking because it will lower the effectiveness of the medication. Medical professionals will recommend avoiding alcohol use all together because taking this medication means that you are sick and should rest, drink plenty of fluids and take medications as directly until you are well.

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