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Doxycycline Uses (Overview)

Doxycycline (doxycycline hyclate) is a commonly used antibiotic in medical practice. It is a tetracycline antibiotic that has a number of clinical indications with varying durations of therapy that make it extremely useful in managing infections. In this article, we shall take a brief look at the uses of doxycycline in the world of medicine.

What is doxycycline used for?

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic agent that is effective against certain strains of bacteria.

Pneumonia treatment

Typically, chest infections occur due to organisms such as Streptococcus pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae. These organisms can sometimes cause more serious infections such as pneumonia that requires high doses of doxycycline. Typically, the duration of therapy is anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks with doses given twice a day.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Doxycycline is also effective in managing sexually transmitted illnesses such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia. It is used in managing urinary tract infections which can be caused by a variety of different bacteria. However, prior to prescribing antibiotics for urinary infection, patients may need to undergo a urine culture and sensitivity test to determine whether or not the bacteria are sensitive to doxycycline.

Non-gonococcal urethritis

Nongonococcal urethritis is a clinical condition that occurs due to Ureaplasma infection. It is characterised by a burning sensation when passing urine and the formation of pus that comes out of the urethra. Once again, the tablet is administered orally twice a day for anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks.

Acne vulgaris

Doxycycline has a clinical use in the treatment of acne. Acne is a bacterial infection of the skin that results in the formation of small macules and pustules on the face and the torso. High dose doxycycline taken for a long period of time can help treat this condition effectively. It works by a ‘bacteriostatic’ action meaning that it stops the proliferation of the bacteria that causes acne.


Doxycycline is also an effective treatment for malaria. Malaria is not prevalent in a majority of the Western world but can be seen in tropical countries such as India. It is also used as a preventative treatment in individuals who are visiting areas endemic for malaria. It is therefore prescribed for individuals prior to travel.

Dental infections

Doxycycline is also utilised in the management of chronic adult periodontitis which is a form of a dental infection.

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that has a broad spectrum of action against a variety of different bacteria. Its typical use is in the management of chest infections and sexually transmitted diseases. In countries where malaria is endemic, doxycycline has a prime use in both prevention and treatment.

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