What is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is an antibiotic used to treat a range of bacterial infections, including chlamydia. Doxycycline is the first choice treatment option for chlamydia because it is proven to be highly effective.
Usually, 1 tablet is taken twice a day for 7 days.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STI) in the world. A recent WHO estimate put chlamydia infection rates at 127 million per year. It’s most common amongst teenagers and young people, and is transmitted through unprotected sex.
Common symptoms include:
- painful urination
- discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
- in women, pain in the stomach and bleeding after sex
- in men, pain and swelling in the testicles
Some people do not experience symptoms when they have chlamydia. It’s advised that men and women under 25 who regularly engage in unprotected sex get tested for chlamydia once a year.
To get treatment for chlamydia, you need to provide a positive test result. You can get a test at your local sexual health clinic and upload the result for our clinicians to review. We also provide a testing service in partnership with a professional pathology lab. If our testing service returns a positive result we can offer you treatment.
If your partner has tested positive for chlamydia you can order treatment without proving a test result for yourself. You’ll be able to purchase a combined test and treatment pack and provide us with a sample. You will not need to wait for the test result to come back before beginning your treatment .
Three weeks after finishing your treatment you can order a treatment + test kit to check that treatment has been successful.
Doxycycline is also an anti-malarial treatment and is taken by those travelling to areas where there is a high risk of malaria.
Malaria is a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes.Malaria enters the bloodstream when an infected mosquito bites a person. It is serious and can be fatal if left untreated.
Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after being bitten, and include:
- feeling hot and shivery
- fever (temperature of 38C or above)
- muscle pain
- headaches .
Malaria is found mainly in tropical regions, including Central and Southern America, Africa and Asia.
How does Doxycycline work in chlamydia?
Doxycycline kills the infection by attacking the bacteria that cause it and stopping it from multiplying. Doxycycline passes into the bacteria and binds to the protein chains within it. This weakens the bacteria and prevents them from thriving.
You should be infection free within 7-14 days of finishing the course (but you should still wait two full weeks until after finishing the course before having sex).
How does Doxycycline work in malaria?
Doxycycline contains an active ingredient called doxycycline hyclate. If the malaria parasite enters the body, doxycycline hyclate first prevents it from growing and then kills it. It can be useful for regions where Chloroquine resistant strains of malaria are present.
It’s a bit different to other antimalarial tablets for malaria like Lariam, which aren’t antibiotics. But it works in a very similar way, by stopping the parasite from reproducing.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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