Doxycycline Ruined My Life: Unveiling the Devastating Effects

Doxycycline’s contribution to treating severe bacterial infections is significant. But despite having beneficial sides, you may wonder how Doxycycline ruined my life.

Generally, Improper use of doxycycline results in stomachaches, diarrhea, rashes, and itching in the human body. It appears to result from tooth discoloration, sun sensitivity, and darkened skin tone. Taking it results in a severe allergic reaction that must be treated immediately. But the side effects are rare if the doxy has been appropriately taken.

In this article, we will discuss the potential side effects and the cause of the suffering. Also, share how to avoid them as well as what to do at the moment when Doxycycline becomes hazardous rather than curing illness. 

What is Doxycycline?

As we all know, doxy is bacteriostatic to treat bacterial infections; it is well known for a few more specific reasons. It especially treats sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It was claimed in 1957 and made commercially available in 1967. It is marked as an essential medicine on the WHO list. In 2020, it ranked 79th on the list of most commonly prescribed medicines in the United States. It was prescribed on more than 9 million prescriptions. 

Doxycycline generally is used for respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and intestinal infections. It treats genital infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea. For its significant impact on this particular field of genital infections, Canada recognized it as the number one medicine. Moreover, it treats certain urinary tract infections, including bladder infections.

Read More: Can Avocado Cause Diarrhea? 

How Does Doxycycline Work?

Doxycycline is a bacteriostatic medicine. That means it prevents bacteria from reproducing but doesn’t kill them. This common antibiotic prevents the synthesis of bacterial proteins by bonding to the 30S ribosomal subunit. 

The 30S ribosomal subunit is essential for protein synthesis in bacteria. It interacts with amino acids during protein synthesis. Doxy stops the interaction between amino acids and the 30S ribosomal subunit. Indeed, bacteria rely on proteins for function and reproduction. When doxy prevents the fermentation of proteins, the bacteria fail to function.

How Doxycycline Ruined My Life?

Some medicines show an adverse drug reaction, also known as ADR. It’s a broad term that refers to your medicine’s dangerous, unwanted, and uncomfortable effects. ADR is considered a type of toxicity. Such drug reactions generally include jaundice, rashes, anemia, kidney damage, impaired hearing and vision, nerve injury, and a sudden decrease in the white blood cell count. These reactions get more severe but generally occur in very few people. If you are experiencing sudden unpleasant side effects after taking doxycycline, then you are not alone.

A maximum number of people are experiencing side effects from this drug. At the same time, some people have to go through serious issues like mental health issues and organ damage after taking this drug. The organ damage condition is generally known as sepsis. It’s a severe condition that can be life-threatening. It occurs when the immune response toward a medicine becomes so strong that it damages healthy organs and tissues.

Real Customer’s Experiences with Doxycycline:

Here are some real-life experiences of people whose doxycycline ruined life.

  • A woman who had an extremely bad experience shares, “I have a tick bite in my leg with no other symptoms, so I start taking a 2-week cycle of doxy for a tick bite. I was taking 100mg for 2 weeks. After having it for 4 days, I was going to pass out, so I contacted the pharmacy, and they recommended I stick to it.
  • I made it to 8 days, and my condition got worse. I had severe back pain, diarrhea, heartburn, and chicest. I went to my primary care physician, and he put me on Prilosec (which causes more toilet issues) and more probiotics which I have taken previously. I have given my blood sample for different tests and had an endoscopy recently; thank God the results were OK. In addition, it was recommended to take magnesium and stronger otc antacids (more toilet complications).
  • Doxycycline ruined my life, and I was like, is this never going to end? I should have moved on with my life after yanking that tick. But no, I have to go to the clinic to get that satan antibiotic prescription. Is there anybody else who has to go through such complications due to this evil medicine?
  • Here is what an angry father says about this medicine: “My teenage daughter completed a 14-day Doxycycline course for acne treatment on her face. This medicine made things worse. We returned to the physician as my daughter got rashes on her arms after taking medicine. This was a loss as the rash confined her neck, arms, and face”.
  • Another patient shared his self-experience and wrote, “As a tick bite preventive measure, I prescribed this medicine in May. After taking doxycycline, I have severe neck pain, back pain, and headaches. The back pain was so intense that I couldn’t sit straight. I went to the ER, and they tested me and put me on different antibiotics. The results show that these were all the results of doxycycline. I end up in a critical condition having vision problems, hypertension, dizziness, and cranial hypertension.
  • Another irritated patient reported “I stopped it after 10 days as I was in a miserable condition. I couldn’t do any physical work or even eat or drink anything properly. Finally, I was hospitalized to flush out the toxicity of this evil medicine. It took 3 days to feel OK. Thank God my vision wasn’t badly affected; still, I am a little dizzy but a lot better than before. I wonder how a general physician can recommend a medicine having such harmful side effects. If I knew, I would never do that.”
  • Another angry patient states, “I took this medicine in October to treat my bacterial pneumonia. I felt awful, and my condition got worse. I have severe back pain, neck pain, sore throat, and my tongue swelling up. I would never recommend this medicine to anyone for any reason”.

Side Effects of Doxycycline

Side effects of Doxycycline

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Doxycycline may have some serious side effects. If you feel extreme side effects, contact your doctor immediately. In case of any life-threatening symptoms, immediately contact 911. Here is a table outlining the side effects of taking Doxycycline that you may face and the potential causes.

Side effects Potential Causes Treatment strategies
Nausea and vomiting Irritation of the digestive tract.

Increased stomach acid production.

Intake of food with Doxycycline.

Avoid spicy food.

Take Gravol 1 hour before taking Doxycycline.

Consider reducing the dose.

Diarrhea Disruption of normal gut bacteria.


Avoid dairy and spicy food.

Drink enough fluids.

Consider asking about antidiarrheals.

Photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight) Increased skin sensitivity due to Doxycycline absorption.

Increased risk of sunburn

Avoid direct sun exposure.

Use SPF sunscreen, a hat, and clothing.

Skin rash or itching Allergic reaction to Doxycycline Speak with your provider or a dermatologist.

Use sunblocks or high-factor SPF.

Tooth staining or enamel hypoplasia (in children under 8 years old) Deposition of Doxycycline in developing teeth, leading to discoloration or underdevelopment. Consider professional tooth cleaning.
Difficulty swallowing Irritation of the throat or esophagus Consider eating smaller and more frequent meals.

Speak with your doctor if the symptom persists.

Headache Direct effect of Doxycycline on the central nervous system. Consider taking ibuprofen or paracetamol.

Drink enough fluids.

Take proper rest.

Weight loss Increased metabolism.

Loss of appetite.

Avoid caffeine. Maintain a healthy diet. Speak to your doctor.
Weight gain Decreased metabolism.

Increased appetite.


Maintain a healthy diet.

Blurred vision Decreased tear production.

Swelling or pressure in the eye.

You must ask your doctor to determine if the medication is causing blurry vision.
High blood pressure Direct effect of Doxycycline on the cardiovascular system. Manage other risk factors for HTN. For example: healthy diet and exercise.

Speak to your doctor.

Dehydration Increased fluid loss due to vomiting or diarrhea. Stay hydrated

Replenish electrolytes.

Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol

There may be an ulcer in your esophagus or irritation in your esophagus. Its symptoms are:

  • Anemia
  • Pain and Burning in the Chest

The symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Fever
  • Extreme skin irritation
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Pain gets worse after eating

The symptoms of some serious skin reactions include:

  • Peeling skin
  • Blister
  • Rash with small purple spots

Doxycycline may have some other side effects. So, if you notice any unusual issues while taking this medicine, consult your doctor immediately.

Long-Term Side Effects of Doxycycline

Despite being considered safe, like other medications doxy has side effects. Unfortunately, some of them have long-term effects. For your convenience, we have shared the possible long-term side effect as follows:

Hemolytic anemia: It causes red blood cells to be destroyed within blood vessels. It decreases the levels of white blood cells or platelets.

Intracranial hypertension: It causes high blood pressure in the head.

Pancreatitis: Causes inflammation of the pancreas.

Tooth discoloration: Permanent discoloration of the teeth and slowing down the growth of bones occurs.

Inflammatory bowel diseases: Causes permanent Inflammatory bowel disease

Clostridium difficile: Good germs in the body fight against infections like c. difficile infection. When you take Doxycycline for the long term, it kills harmful germs as well as good germs. As good germs are killed, infections like clostridium difficile occur. 

Doxycycline Dose

It’s a common thing to ask how to take your medicine. Generally, a dose of doxy depends on the patient’s condition, age, and weight. So before taking Doxycycline, a health professional’s suggestion is a must.

Here’s a table showing the recommended doses for adults and children,

Doxy dose in general

Patient group  Form dose  days
Adult Tablets  100 mg twice daily for 7-14 days 7-14 days
100 mg once daily for 7-14 days (for certain infections 7-14 days
Adults Liquid 50 mg/5 mL, 100 mg/5 mL
100 mg twice daily  7-14 days
Children (> 8 years old) Tablets 2 mg/kg twice daily (up to 100 mg)  7-14 days
Liquid  2 mg/kg twice daily (up to 100 mg)  7-14 days
Children (weighing < 45 kg) Liquid 2.2 mg/kg once daily or divided twice daily (up to 100 mg)  7-14 days
Alternatively, 4.4 mg/kg once on the first day, then 2.2 mg/kg once daily (up to 100 mg)  7-14 days

Doxy dose for skin issues, lung infections, and tick-borne illnesses:

Infection type Dosage Duration
Acne 100 mg twice daily on day 1 followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg per day 3 to 4 months
Rosacea Take 40 mg once daily in the morning (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals) Variable, up to 4 to 9 months
Rocky mountain spotted fever 100 mg twice daily At least 5 to 7 days
Pneumonia 100 mg twice daily 5 to 7 days
Cellulitis (skin infection) 100 mg twice daily At least 5 days

Doxy dose for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Infection type Dosage Duration
Chlamydia 100 mg twice daily At least 7 days
Syphilis 150 mg twice daily At least 10 days
Nongonococcal urethritis (urethral infection) 100 mg twice daily At least 7 days
Epididymo-orchitis (testes infection) 100 mg twice daily At least 10 days
Uncomplicated gonorrhea (alternative option) 300 mg given twice separated by one hour 1 day
Uncomplicated gonorrhea 100 mg twice daily 7 days

What Happens When You Overdose on Doxycycline?

You will most likely experience diarrhea and nausea when you overdose on the doxycycline. The treatment for overdosing will depend upon how much medicine the person has taken and what other symptoms they are experiencing. Medicines like doxycycline should be consumed according to the doctor’s prescription as they can cause severe and life-threatening side effects on its misuse. There is a possibility that you may have a specific condition in which you can’t have this drug. Always consult your doctor about the amount before having such an antibiotic.

Can Doxycycline Make You Extremely Tired?

Doxycycline can make you extremely tired. It happens because after intaking the antibiotic, a large number of bacteria die together. That affects the whole body’s function. And makes the symptom even worse. 

When the antibiotic starts to kill bacteria, you experience things as follows:

  1. Severe itchiness
  2. Rash
  3. Unusual bruising
  4. Flu-like symptoms
  5. Muscle aches
  6. Fever 
  7. Swollen glands, 
  8. Yellowing of eyes.

Though you may feel tired for several reasons; but if you are intaking doxy all these effects mentioned above will make you feel dizzy and tired.

What Will Happen When You Misuse Doxycycline?

Misusing Doxycycline leads to several negative consequences. Here are some of the outcomes of misusing this bacteriostat,

  • Decreased effectiveness: Unnecessary use of antibiotics decreases its effectiveness. Taking Doxy when it is not needed or not as directed by your doctor makes the infection resistant to the antibiotic. Also, make it harder to treat the infection in the future.
  • Reduced absorption: Intaking doxycycline with food or milk (or anything high in calcium) a chemical reaction occurs. Due to this reaction doxy decreases its bioavailability and absorption by about 30%. Therefore, taking it with food or milk reduces its absorption and effectiveness. The antibiotic also interact 
  • Permanent vision loss: Another side effect of Doxycycline is Intracranial hypertension (IH). Rarely it leads to permanent vision loss, blindness, blurry views or double views.
  • Allergic reactions: Doxy causes allergic reactions or other problems. If you are allergic to this antibiotic, be careful while intaking it. Don’t overdose if you are allergic to other tetracyclines (such as minocycline) or any other allergies.
  • Tooth discoloration and bone growth: Permanent discoloration of the teeth occurs due to the overdose of doxy. For the same reason, the growth of bones slows down. It occurs most often in infants. So this antibiotic is highly prohibited for toddlers under 8. 
  • Other side effects: when you are experiencing either vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches, or dizziness, nausea, skin rash, headache, these probably happen due to an overdose of doxy.

How to Treat Side Effects of Doxycycline?

To treat and avoid side effects from Doxycycline, here are some tips for treating common side effects of this medicine:

  • Rest as much as you can.
  • To avoid dehydration drink plenty of water and juice or beverages like zero sugar gatorade.
  • Avoid consuming spicy food.
  • Avoid taking antidiarrheal medicines.
  • Wear protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds.
  • Eat small but frequent meals.

N:B: Paracetamol and ibuprofen are safe to take with Doxycycline.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How long does it take for Doxycycline to work for bacterial infection?

To treat bacterial infections like acne, doxy takes two weeks. And treating urinary tract infections takes 1-2 days. Besides, treating generic bacterial infections in women it takes 1-2 days. Doxy cures chronic urinary tract infections within 2-4 weeks, but sometimes it takes 12 weeks for the best result.

What happens if you eat dairy with Doxycycline?

Dairy products interfere with the body’s ability to absorb Doxycycline. As a result, the doxy becomes less effective. It is recommended to avoid consuming dairy products within 2-3 hours of taking doxy. But the FDA recommends taking doxy with food or milk if gastrointestinal irritation occurs. In case of any gastrointestinal issues, you should consult your doctor. 

How long until doxycycline side effects go away?

In the case of a healthy adult, the doxycycline half-life is between 16 to 24 hours. So it’s time it takes to decrease the plasma level by half for our body.

What happens when you suddenly stop taking this medicine?

Once you stop taking this medicine, your stomach will start getting back to its proper condition in a few days. In addition, your esophagitis (inflammation in your gut) will get a lot better.

Is doxycycline a strong antibiotic?

Yes. Doxycycline is a strong antibiotic that is generally used to treat severe infections and those infections on which other drugs won’t work. Its working procedure is different in comparison with other antibiotics. The potency of this medicine is prescribed according to the course of treatment and dosage.

Can I drink alcohol while on doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a strong antibiotic that is used in the treatment of a wide range of antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while having antibiotics is risky and can negatively impact health. Occasional drinking might be safe, but consult your doctor as it depends on your health condition.

What should I avoid while taking doxycycline?

Some foods can interfere with doxycycline medicine. For example, if iron-rich foods and dairy products are taken, they can react with this medicine, especially if you are taking both of these simultaneously. Try to avoid these foods for at least two hours once you take this medicine. Some other foods you should consider avoiding include cheese, spinach, kale, milk, eggs, and butter.

What happens if I take doxycycline before going to bed?

Take this medicine at least one hour before you go to bed. Taking medication immediately before going to bed can have side effects. For example, lying down after taking the pill can back up into the esophagus, irritate and sometimes ulcerate the esophagus lining.


Finally, we hope now you know how Doxycycline ruined my life. Overall, Doxycycline is an excellent medication if you take it properly and follow the guidance of your health professionals. Otherwise, it can be ineffective; even your life will be at risk. So be careful, eat healthily, live healthily, and follow the instructions of your pharmacist while taking these effective antibacterial medications. 


Rabia Sehar
Rabia Sehar

Hi! I’m Rabia Sehar, a motivated, passionate and sophisticated writer aspiring to make my dreams come true. Writing about health, wellness, mental health, and lifestyle is something I specialize in and am passionate about. I love traveling, reading, composing, and entertaining. As a health advocate, I am passionate about creating content that educates people on leading a healthy life. Health is the actual wealth so try your best to keep it.