How do I know if I am allergic to doxycycline?

Doxycycline can be used to treat infections involving the ear, nose, and throat.

Doxycycline is an antibiotic in the tetracycline family, approved by the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the late 1960s. It is prescribed for a variety of bacterial infections, especially chronic ones involving the ears, nose, throat, and genitals. Doxycycline is also approved for the treatment of acne, rosacea, and anthrax, in addition to its use as a prophylactic medication against malaria. Like all antibiotics, patients may be genetically predisposed to be allergic to the drug or develop an allergy secondary to drug exposure. Some symptoms that indicate you may be allergic to doxycycline include developing a rash or hives, severe gastrointestinal cramping with or without bloody diarrhea, and a sore throat made worse by swallowing.

Doxycycline may be prescribed to treat acne.

Other symptoms that you may be allergic to doxycycline include jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes, which usually indicate liver damage or failure. Additional signs of liver damage from a doxycycline allergy include unexplained or easy bruising and bleeding. A severe headache and changes in vision can also indicate an allergy. The presence of any of these serious symptoms requires you to discontinue medication, contact your doctor immediately, and seek medical attention. Keep in mind that one of the severe forms of intestinal cramping and diarrhea can take months after you finish your doxycycline treatment.

Signs of an allergic reaction to doxycycline can include hives.

Symptoms that you may be allergic to doxycycline should not be confused with the expected side effects of doxycycline, such as an upset stomach or mild diarrhea. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. These side effects can be minimized by taking the drug with a full glass of water on an empty stomach and not lying down for 10 to 15 minutes after self-administration. Another side effect of doxycycline is increased sensitivity to sunlight, which may require sunscreen and hats if you plan on being outdoors during the time you are taking this medication. Oral or vaginal yeast infections may also occur.

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Signs of an allergic reaction to doxycycline can include a headache.

Doxycycline has several noteworthy drug and food interactions. This antibiotic has been reported to decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, so secondary forms of birth control should be used by women if needed while using this medication. Calcium in supplement form, antacid form, dairy products or yogurt can interfere with the absorption of doxycycline if taken within four hours of administration. This medication may also interact and interfere with anticonvulsant or anticonvulsant medications, barbiturates, blood thinning medications, and digoxin, a very common medication used in heart patients.

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