Doxycycline is an antibiotic drug that kills a wide, bizarre and wonderful range of bugs which might be usually tough to deal with with different antibiotics. These embody micro organism and parasites that take up residence inside our cells (called “intracellular organisms”), making them hard for many antibiotics to reach.

Unlike many different antibiotics, doxycycline penetrates deep into our tissues and results inside our cells, where it can kill these bugs. Examples of intracellular organisms prone to doxycycline include numerous “zoonotic infections” (infections which can be spread from animals to people), chlamydia, legionella (the cause of legionnaire’s disease) and malaria.

Different inclined microorganisms embody “spirochaetes” (that may cause syphilis and Lyme illness) and the bacteria that cause acne, anthrax and cholera.

Doxycycline interferes with a microorganism’s ability to fabricate proteins – the “building blocks” of life. Protein manufacture occurs in a part of the cell called the “ribosome” and is fundamental to any organism’s survival.

The reason doxycycline kills bacteria and parasites, but not our own cells, is that ours have a distinct type of ribosome to these easier organisms.


Because doxycycline kills a wide range of micro organism that may infect the respiratory system, it is commonly prescribed for pneumonia and bronchitis. Additionally it is widely used for treating acne and infections of the urinary and genital systems.

It is normally taken orally as tablets or capsules however can even very occasionally be given as an intravenous injection.

Doxycycline continues to exert its effects for some time after being taken. This means it can be used not only as remedy, but also for prevention or “prophylaxis”.

Its most widespread use as prophylaxis is for tourists and other travellers (equivalent to military personnel) going to tropical countries the place it is used to protect primarily towards malaria. It might also provide additional protection from common bacterial causes of diarrhoea.

To be efficient in preventing an infection, it needs to be taken as soon as a day throughout the time the particular person is at risk. Doxycycline is also active against a number of micro organism that would possibly be used as agents of “germ” warfare. This included, most notably, anthrax. So it could be used as prophylaxis in military or different populations regarded as at risk of bio-warfare or following launch of anthrax into the setting by terrorists.


The development of doxycycline followed the momentous discovery of penicillin, a natural compound produced by a sure type of mould.

This lead many pharmaceutical companies to analyze the microbe-killing properties of a big number of other natural products, comparable to those produced by other microorganisms and plants, a process termed “bio-discovery”.

This unearthed natural compounds with anti-microbial activity and further artificial modification improved these natural compounds.


Like all antibiotics, doxycycline is prone to bugs that develop resistance. There is proof this has already happenred in settings where the drug is widely used, resembling treatment of acne.

This means its use could also be curtailed or overtaken by different medication for some conditions, now or within the future.

Side effects and reactions

The most commonly reported side effect is irritation of the oesophagus (meals pipe), inflicting heartburn. This may be quite unpleasant but is somewhat forestallable by taking the remedy with plenty of water, while standing and well earlier than going to bed.

“Photosensitivity” (heightened sensitivity to sunlight resulting in being easily sunburnt) can be frequent ( in up to 20% of people taking it). This is especially problematic for travellers utilizing it as malaria prophylaxis in tropical countries.

Doxycycline shouldn’t be utilized in children or in pregnant ladies where it can result in permanent brown staining of enamel and produce other effects on foetal bone development.

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