Doxycycline is a member of the tetracycline antibiotic group, and is commonly used to treat a variety of infections. In addition, it has other anti-inflammatory properties that make it especially useful in treating several eye diseases.  We commonly use Doxycycline for diseases of the eyelids (e.g. chalazia and gland dysfunction), as well as in patients who have corneal abrasions.

Supplied: Capsules: 40, 50, 75, and 100 mg. Tablets: 50, 75, 100, and 150 mg. Suspension: 25 mg/teaspoon. Syrup: 50 mg/teaspoon. Powder for injection: 42.5, 100, and 200 mg.

Dose:  The absorption of doxycycline is not markedly affected by food, and therefore, it can be taken with meals. For most infections, doxycycline is taken once or twice daily for 7 to 14 days. The adult dose for infections, is 200 mg on the first day of treatment (100 mg every 12 hours) followed by a dose of 100 mg/day as a single dose or 50 mg twice daily.

How we use this drug: For low grade, protracted eye issues, we prescribe a low dose of doxycycline (50 – 75 mg a day) for two to four months.  These lower dosages exert a mild anti-inflammatory effect that tends to augment the multifaceted interventions of eyelid hygiene, warm compresses and eyelid massage.

Common diseases we treat with doxycycline include rosacea associated blepharitis, meibomean gland disease, chalazia and recurrent corneal erosions.

Children: Doxycycline is not indicated for use in children under the age of eight years.

Pregnancy: Doxycycline can have toxic effects on development of bone in the fetus. Therefore, Doxycycline is not recommended during pregnancy unless there is no other appropriate antibiotic.

Side Effects: Doxycycline is generally well-tolerated. The most common side effects are diarrhea or loose stools, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Doxycycline may cause tooth discoloration if used in persons below 8 years of age. Exaggerated sunburn can occur with Doxycycline; therefore, sunlight should be minimized during treatment.

Warning:It is recommended that doxycycline not be taken at the same time as aluminum, magnesium, or calcium based antacids, such as Mylanta, Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids because, like food, these medications bind doxycycline in the intestine and prevent its absorption. Similarly, doxycycline should not be taken with minerals (such as calcium or iron) or with bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol).

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