Doxycycline is a powerful antibiotic agent that is used in the treatment of a number of different bacterial illnesses. It is not uncommon for patients who are taking doxycycline to also partake in alcohol once in awhile. However, it must be borne in mind that alcohol tends to interact with most medications taken by an individual and doxycycline is not an exception. In this article we shall explore the interaction between doxycycline and alcohol and discuss whether it is safe to consume alcohol when taking doxycycline.
Doxycycline alcohol interaction
While the combination of doxycycline and alcohol is not one that must be frowned upon, it is worthwhile remembering that there is in fact an interaction between these two. Literature reviews have clearly stated that consuming alcohol along with doxycycline can result in the drug getting metabolised to quickly and being removed from the body through the urine before it has had time to exert its antibacterial effect. In other words, taking alcohol with the doxycycline reduces the efficacy of doxycycline as an antibiotic. This is because alcohol has an effect on the liver and this effect can alter the way doxycycline is broken down into its active components. Whether this effect occurs with just a small amount of alcohol or only with a large amount of alcohol is unclear but nonetheless the interaction is well recognised.
While the above remains one school of thought, clinical research has actually shown that there does not appear to be any significant interaction between doxycycline and alcohol. That being said, in the presence of active liver disease, there most certainly can be an interaction which can be detrimental to the health of the patient.
So what exactly does this mean? The interaction is quite a difficult one to determine but in healthy individuals taking doxycycline, alcohol would not interact with the drug provided their liver function test is completely normal. In other words, it may be worthwhile noting the patient’s liver function test before prescribing doxycycline. This however is not possible in all patients and is therefore best advised that patients just avoid consuming alcohol when they are taking the drug. Reiterating that the duration of doxycycline therapy is often very short, it should be no problem for patients to stop consuming alcohol for that period of time and restarting it once they have concluded doxycycline therapy.
Doxycycline is a commonly prescribed antibiotic agent that is used over short periods of time to treat different kinds of infections. During this time, if an individual is consuming alcohol, there is unlikely to be an interaction unless there is evidence of liver disease on blood tests or through other investigations. Furthermore, alcohol appears to shorten the action of doxycycline by promoting its removal from the body. It is best that patients taking doxycycline avoid consuming alcohol during the duration of therapy.