You may have heard someone lamenting that “doxycycline ruined my life” and you may wonder how a drug that is classified as an antibiotic can destroy lives while it was meant to safe live. You may have had health issues and your doctor recommended that you take this drug. Hearing bad reviews from people about how the antibiotic made them awful may get you confused on whether you should go ahead with the prescription or ignore it.
It will interest you to know that you are not the first person neither are you the only one who have had such thoughts or heard others lamenting about how doxycycline ruined their life. Let us first explain the drug, its functions and how it can destroy the body.
WHAT IS DOXYCYCLINE
Doxycycline is classified under the group of medicine called tetracycline antibiotics. It is an antibiotic that is used to kill bacteria and stop them from growing (Mayo Clinic). This means that the drug cannot be used in treating viral diseases like cold, flu and others. Doxycycline is only accessed with a prescription which means it cannot be bought over the counter.
Doxycycline comes in different forms like:
- Suspension powder
- Extended released capsule
- Delayed release capsule.
WHAT DOES DOXYCYCLINE DO
This drug is used to treat diseases like:
- Dental infection
- Chest infection
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Skin problems like acne and rosacea
- Anthrax infection
It can also be used to prevent other bacterial infections and malaria especially if you are travelling overseas.
WHO CAN AND CANNOT TAKE DOXYCYCLINE
Doxycycline can be used by adults and children, it is mostly recommended to children who are over the age of 12 years old. In some cases and depending on the infection, doxycycline can be administered to children younger than 12 years.
Doxycycline cannot be used in some people if they have:
- Liver problems
- Kidney issues
- Lupus (an autoimmune condition that causes skin rashes, tiredness and joint pain)
- Infected or inflamed oesophagitis (food pipe)
- Allergies to doxycycline
- Myasthenia gravis (a long term disease that causes weak muscles)
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers cannot take doxycycline as well.
HOW CAN DOXYCYCLINE RUIN MY LIFE
The best way to answer this question is with the reviews from most people who have used the antibiotic, reading bout their experience will help you to know if doxycycline can ruin your life and how. Out of the 1,551 ratings by the users of this drug, there was an average of 6.5 out of 10 stars. Even though there were 51% positive reviews and 26% negative reviews, the negative reviews all reported that doxycycline ruined their life. Let us look at these reviews.
The first review reported that the user only used the antibiotic for less than a month to treat infections but the experience was out of the world. There was dizziness, blurred vision and forgetfulness that made her loose her memory for 2 days. She had to be taken to the hospital for medical attention because she was unable to walk or answer questions then.
Another user testified being tired, weak and feeling paralyzed for some time after taking the drug. The third review was from a user who took doxycycline for just 6 months, he experienced tiredness and severe headache that made him feel like he was going to have stroke. Another issue is that these symptoms does not go away in few days, they may last up to few weeks. These reviews were all side effects that are associated with the antibiotic called doxycycline.
SIDE EFFECTS OF DOXYCYCLINE
According to the National Health Service, UK, there are many side effects of this drug. These side effects are the reason why people claimed the drug tried to ruined their life.
Some common side effects of doxycycline occur in just about 1 out of 10 people. These effects are:
- Nauseous feeling
- Skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
Some serious side effects are rare but they happen sometimes in less than 1 out of 1,000 people. These effects are:
- Stomach cramps and diarrhea that has traces of blood or mucus.
- Bleeding including the nose and other areas
- High fever
- Sore throat
- Severe headache
- Pain in the joint and muscle
- Noise like buzzing in the ear
- Pale skin
- Yellow eyes
- Dark urine and pale faeces
- Blurry vision which may be a sign of pressure on the brain
- Pulling off of the fingernail from the base
- Swollen lips, tongue or mouth
- Pain in the stomach which may be a sign of pancreatitis
- Symptoms of infected food pipe like sore throat, acid reflux, chest pain or smaller appetite.
Some allergic reactions can be:
- Swelling of the mouth, lips, face, tongue or throat
- Tightness of the chest and throat
- Difficulty in breathing and talking
- Rashes on the skin and peeling of the skin.
DOXYCYCLINE AND PREGNANCY
Doxycycline is an antibiotic but it is not recommended or to administered to pregnant women. This is because it can affect how your baby’s teeth and bone develop. You must never prescribe doxycycline by yourself especially if you are pregnant, you may be harming your baby.
DOXYCYCLINE AND BREASTFEEDING
Doctors may prescribe doxycycline to breastfeeding mothers if it has been confirmed that the baby is healthy. Also, doxycycline is used by breastfeeding women only for a short period of time maybe less than 3 weeks. Using doxycycline for short period of time will reduce the chances of your baby experiencing side effects of the drug.
There may be problem in the baby’s teeth and bones development if the drug is used for a longer time. Also, if the baby has stomach upset, oral infection or is not feeding well, you will have to see a health personnel before using doxycycline.
Misusing doxycycline is like signing yourself up for serious complications. Remember that this antibiotic should only be used based on a doctor’s prescription, so any abuse will lead to problems. The side effects will be serious and life threatening as well.
DOXYCYCLINE AND INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS
Some medicines do not interact well with doxycycline, it is either a health problem occurs or one drug has no effect in the body. Before using doxycycline, you should tell your doctor of any other drug you are currently taking.
Tell your doctor you are taking any of the following drugs:
- Warfarin for preventing blood clots
- Acne medicines that contain vitamin A
- Indigestion drugs
- Stomach ulcers drugs that have bismuth
- Antibiotics like rifampicin
- Epilepsy drugs like carbamazepine or phenytoin
- Typhoid vaccine that was administered orally
- ciclosporin for calming down your immune system
- Iron supplements
- Drugs with zinc, calcuim, magnesium and aluminum.
DOXYCYCLINE AND OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS
According to Mayo Clinic, some medical problem may become worse if you use doxycycline while some problems may reduce the effects of the antibiotic.
Some of these medical problems are:
- Kidney problems
- Vaginal candidiasis infection
- Intracranial hypertension.
HOW TO USE DOXYCYCLINE PROPERLY
Using this drug will require that you follow the instructions of your doctor. You should not take more of the drug, more often than you should or longer than prescribed. Taking them while ignoring your doctor’s instructions can lead to serious side effects.
For delayed-release capsules:
- Take with food or mild especially if it gives you stomach pains
- You can sprinkle the contents of the capsule on a spoonful of applesauce and swallow the mixture.
Some brands of this delayed released capsule will require that you take it on an empty stomach at least an hour or 2 before eating. You will need to take a full glass of water with the drug and avoid lying down after.
For delayed-release tablets or tablets:
- Take the tablet with either food or milk
- The medicine can be taken by breaking the tablets but make sure that you break it on the scored lines.
- You can break the tablet into smaller pieces and sprinkle on applesauce. This mixture should be swallowed immediately followed by a glass of water.
If you are using the liquid form of doxycycline, you should measure the amount with a medicine cup or measuring spoon. When taking any form of this antibiotic, you should drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and to avoid throat irritation and ulcerations.
There has been many reviews of users who claimed that using doxycycline ruined their life, this may not be false as there are side effects associated with the drug. It is a known fact that the drug works very well if it is used as instructed but there may be effects that lasts for few weeks as compared to other drugs that take days for the side effects to wear off. You should talk to your doctor of any drug you are taking or medical problems you may have before taking doxycycline. Also, follow the instructions carefully to reduce some reactions.