The Effects of Doxycycline and Alcohol

Doxycycline is a synthetic antibiotic from the tetracycline class. It is used to treat a variety of infections due to its potent antibacterial properties. Like any drug, doxycycline has a variety of side effects one needs to be aware of before taking this medication. It is also important to consider the way this particular antibiotic interacts with other drugs. The relationship between doxycycline and alcohol requires special attention as they affect each other strongly when mixed in your body.

When Do You Need Doxycycline?

As doxycycline is used to combat bacteria, it is commonly prescribed to those who suffer from:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Malaria
  • Typhus
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Eye infections
  • Cholera
  • Periodontitis (inflammatory gum disease)
  • Lyme disease

Due to its efficiency in combating a number of diseases, this drug was included in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Tourists should always have it in their medical kits as this is the number one prescription medication for traveler’s diarrhea and similar conditions.

If you plan to visit a region where the risk of contracting malaria is high, you should consult a doctor about taking doxycycline as a preventative measure. This drug can be used at the initial stages of malaria treatment, but it should be complemented with other medications. When used alone, the effect of doxycycline is too slow to stop the progress of the disease.

Before Taking the Medication

Some patients should avoid this drug due to potential risks of numerous side effects exhibited by antibiotics of the tetracycline group. If you fall into one of the following categories, be sure to inform your doctor about this in order to get another prescription.

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that all tetracycline antibiotics are extremely dangerous and must be avoided during pregnancy. They affect the development of bone structure and teeth of the fetus. As these medications cross into breast milk, there is a risk of similar effect on the infant.
  • Children under 12 years of age – Up until this point, the risk of doxycycline interfering with the development of bone structure is considered too high.
    If the child is resistant to other antibiotics, this drug can be used in moderation.
  • People with systemic lupus erythematous.
  • Patients with liver or kidney disease.
  • People who take isotretinoin, blood thinners or seizure medicines.
  • Women who take birth control pills – A few years ago, it was believed that this particular drug reduced the effectiveness of hormonal birth control pills. However, recent research shows that the effect is minimal. It is advisable to use barrier contraception while taking this medication to eliminate the risks completely.
  • People with a history of alcohol addiction.

Doxycycline and Alcohol

It is not prohibited to drink when you take this particular drug. However, it is generally advised to abstain from alcohol while on medication, especially with antibiotics. The reason for this is the fact that the effectiveness of the drugs is reduced.

Heavy drinkers and people who have a history of alcohol addiction are able to expel doxycycline from their bodies faster than an average person. You should inform your doctor about your drinking habits because this will affect the prescribed dosage. Remember that this consideration is important regardless of how many years have passed since the moment you quit drinking.

This drug increases your sensitivity to the motor-impairing effects of alcohol without raising your blood alcohol level. As a result, the risk of accidents grows. It’s imperative to avoid driving while under the effect of this drug.

Doxycycline and alcohol interaction side effects can be used for good as well. Researchers have been working on the idea of using this medication to help fight alcohol addiction. According to some studies, the drug’s ability to “heighten” the effects of alcohol makes people reduce the number of the drinks they consume.