If you or your partner have tested positive for chlamydia, our service allows you to get a prescription for doxycycline, quickly and easily.
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Doxycycline is an antibiotic treatment known as a tetracycline antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth and spread of bacteria in the body and is used to treat infections. It is also prescribed to prevent infection with malaria when travelling to countries where there is a high risk of catching malaria. Doxycycline is commonly used to treat:
- infections of the lungs
- infections of the kidneys and bladder
- infections of the skin such as acne
- eye infections
- sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia
Doxycycline is the generic name for this type of antibiotic. It is also available under the brand names Vibramycin-D, Efracea, and Periostat.
Chlamydia is a common type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is spread through bodily fluids (semen and vaginal fluids) during sexual contact. Chlamydia often has mild or no symptoms, so it's important to get tested regularly as untreated chlamydia can lead to serious complications, especially in women. Long term complications of chlamydia can include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can increase the chance of ectopic pregnancy and infertility. You can get a free, confidential chlamydia test at your GP or sexual health clinic, or alternatively, order a test kit online and do the test yourself at home. The test for chlamydia involves taking a sample of your urine or a swab from your genitals. Normally, Chlamydia is easily treated with a short course of antibiotics.
The first line of treatment for chlamydia is normally a 7 day course of doxycycline. Doxycycline works by stopping the bacteria that cause chlamydia from functioning and reproducing inside your body. In order to survive and reproduce, bacteria have to produce certain proteins. Doxycycline enters bacteria cells and blocks the production of these proteins. In certain cases, your doctor may recommend another treatment option such as azithromycin to treat your chlamydia. Talk to your GP or healthcare provider about which treatment is best for you.
Doxycycline comes in 100mg capsules and the treatment for chlamydia is normally 1 capsule twice a day for 7 days.
Capsules should be swallowed whole with plenty of water. Sometimes doxycycline can cause irritation to your oesophagus (food pipe) or stomach, so it's important to take this medication with a large glass of water, preferably with or after food. You should also stay upright, in a sitting or standing position for at least thirty minutes after taking doxycycline. Take your capsules 12 hours apart, in the morning and evening, with the last capsule 1 or 2 hours before you go to bed to reduce the risk of stomach irritation. If you do experience stomach problems like pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, taking your capsules with milk may help.
If you miss your dose of doxycycline and not much time has passed, take it as soon as you remember. If it's nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next capsule as normal. Do not take two capsules (double dose) to make up for the missed one.
Doxycycline is an effective treatment for chlamydia, but it is not suitable for everyone. If you can’t take doxycycline, alternative antibiotics are sometimes used instead. You should not take doxycycline if you:
- are under 12 years of age
- have ever had an allergic reaction to doxycycline or another tetracycline antibiotic (tetracycline, minocycline, or tigecycline)
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- have a dental condition called enamel hypoplasia (thin or absent tooth enamel)
- have an intolerance to some sugars like sucrose
Tell your doctor before starting treatment with doxycycline if you have:
- problems with your liver or kidneys
- a blood disease called porphyria
- an autoimmune disease that affects the nerves and muscles called myasthenia gravis
- an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own tissue called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- have inflammatory bowel disease, problems with your stomach or intestines, or have diarrhoea
Doxycycline can sometimes cause side effects, most of which are mild and not serious. Common side effects of doxycycline include:
- increased sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity)
- nausea (feeling sick)
- vomiting (being sick)
- thrush (vaginal yeast infection) in women
If you are worried about side effects, or if your side effects are troublesome or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.
Rarely, serious side effects can occur. These include:
- unexplained bruising or bleeding
- fever (high temperature)
- fatigue (feeling tired)
- diarrhoea (may contain blood) and stomach pain
- tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- pale coloured poo
- dark coloured pee
- muscle or joint pain
- severe or prolonged headaches
- changes to your vision (eyesight)
- sore throat or pain when swallowing
- swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue
- separation of your nails from the nail bed (photo-onycholysis)
If you experience any of the above side effects, stop taking your medication and seek medical attention immediately.
Very rarely the antibiotics used to treat chlamydia can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- itchy, red, raised bumps or spots on the skin (hives)
- difficulty breathing
- feeling dizzy or faint
- rapid heartbeat
- swelling of the eyes, tongue, lips, and throat
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and can get worse very quickly. If you experience any of the above symptoms seek immediate medical treatment.
Before taking doxycycline, make sure you read the patient information leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about this medication.
Doxycycline is highly effective in treating chlamydia infections. Studies have shown it to be 95% to 100% effective at treating uncomplicated chlamydia infections if taken correctly. It's important not to have sex including vaginal, oral, and anal sex until you and your sexual partner have finished treatment. Reinfection with chlamydia is common, especially in people under the age of 25.
Doxycycline is only available on prescription. You can get a prescription quickly and easily by filling out our confidential online questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your symptoms and medical history and prescribe the correct treatment for you.
Dr Kathryn Basford
Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.Meet our doctors
Article created: 01 Mar 2022
Last reviewed: 01 Mar 2022
emc: Doxycycline 100mg capsules Accessed February 18th, 2022
Medicines.org.uk: Doxycycline 100mg capsules Accessed February 18th, 2022
NHS: Conditions: Chlamydia September 1st, 2021, Accessed February 18th, 2022
Drugs.com: Doxycycline. 7 things you should know September 3rd, 2021 Accessed February 18th, 2022
nejm.org: Azithromycin versus Doxycycline for urogenital chlamydia trachomatis infection December 24th, 2015, Accessed February 18th, 2022