Dr. Mouhammad Aouthmany, MD, FAAD

Board Certified Dermatologist


Doxycycline is an antibiotic used for both its antibacterial as well as its anti-inflammatory properties. For acne and rosacea it is common for this medication to be used continuously for many months, even years.

  • Take with food, preferably immediately before eating.  

  • Do not take Doxycycline immediately before going to bed. If you are lying down, the pill can reflux back up into the esophagus where it can irritate or even ulcerate the lining of the esophagus. Take it at least 1 hour before bedtime. 

  • You do NOT have to avoid milk products when taking this medication. Milk, and anything with calcium or iron, will slightly decrease absorption, but not enough to significantly affect your treatment.

  • If you take antacids, laxatives, calcium or iron supplements, try to avoid taking these within 2 hours of doxycycline. 

  • Take the medicine regularly. Do NOT stop it as soon as your pimples go away unless instructed

  • Doxycycline should not be taken if you are pregnant or breast feeding. If you think you might be pregnant, stop taking doxycycline.

  • Birth control pills: If you are taking birth control pills, there is a small chance that it could keep them from working as a contraceptive.

  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen if sun exposure is likely. 

Common side effects:

  • Nausea (especially if you take it without food!) 

  • Vaginal yeast infections

  • Diarrhea

  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight and tanning beds; can sunburn more easily (incidence < 5%, dose-related)

  • Chest pain (if the pill does not reach the stomach, or if taken immediately before going to bed) 

Rare side effects: 

Headache. Dizziness. Extremely rare complications: As with any medication there can be rare, serious reactions: allergic reaction, liver inflammation, blood cell abnormalities, severe rash. Might increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease;