Doxycycline can have some side effects, but this does not mean everyone will get them. You should stop taking doxycycline straight away and visit A&E if you get:
- a skin rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes, as this may be a sign of a severe drug reaction
- a buzzing in your ears, as this could be a sign of tinnitus
- severe skin reactions
- symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling in the face, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing
The common side effects of doxycycline include:
- increased heart rate
- shortness of breath
- sensitivity to sunlight
- increased pressure in your skull which can cause headaches, blurred visions, or blind spots
- low blood pressure
- nausea or vomiting (feeling or being sick)
- an inflammation of your small blood vessels, known as Henoch-Schonlein purpura
Uncommon side effects include:
- infections of your vagina, such as thrush
Rare side effects include:
- jaundice, yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
- yeast infection around your genitals or anus
- an increase in the amount of urea in your blood
- aches in your muscles and joints
- loose finger or toenails after exposure to sun (photoonycholysis)
- peeling and redness of your skin
- liver failure
- hepatitis, which is inflammation of your liver
- severe, bloody, or watery diarrhoea
- inflammation of your colon
- blood disorders
- porphyria, which is a sensitivity to sunlight, stomach pains, and inflammation of nerves
- discolouration of thyroid tissue
- a decrease in appetite
- ulcers or inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract
- changes in your liver function tests
You may not get any of these side effects, but if you do and they do not go away in a few days, speak to your doctor. If you get any serious side effects, speak to your doctor, call 111 or 999, or visit A&E straight away.
Doxycycline and sun
Doxycycline can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Any exposure to sunlight, even for a small amount of time, could cause itching, rash, redness, severe sunburn, or discolouration of your skin. Whilst taking doxycycline make sure you:
- cover your skin as much as possible
- wear sunglasses
- do not use tanning beds or sunlamps
- apply sunscreen with a high SPF before you go out and during the day
- use a sunscreen lip balm
- stay out of the sun as much as you can
If you do get sunburn, treat this as you normally would. If you are worried about your symptoms, speak to your doctor.
Doxycycline dizziness and fatigue
Doxycycline may cause dizziness and fatigue. This is usually a sign of low blood pressure. If you get dizziness and fatigue that does not go away, speak to your doctor.
One of the most common side effects of doxycycline is headaches. You can treat this with paracetamol and ibuprofen, as these are safe to take with doxycycline.
If you get a severe headache with vomiting or vision problems, this may be a sign that you have increased pressure in your brain. If you get these side effects, go to A&E straight away.
How long do doxycycline side effects last
Doxycycline side effects may only last a few days, whilst your body gets used to the medication. For some patients, side effects may last for the whole treatment course. Most of these side effects can be treated at home. If they bother you too much, speak to your doctor.
What to do if you get doxycycline side effects
If you get any common doxycycline side effects, these can be treated at home. The most common side effect is headaches. To treat this, drink plenty of water, rest, and use over the counter painkillers.
If you get an upset stomach whilst taking doxycycline, make sure to take your capsules with food, as this can help. Avoid eating spicy or rich foods during this time. Avoid dairy products like cheese and milk. You should also take your capsules whilst in an upright position, such as sitting.
Back to top