The Independent Pharmacy

Doxycycline Uses

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 16 Jul 2024

What is Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a type of antibiotic known as a tetracycline antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of a wide range of bacteria and can be used to treat a number of bacterial infections throughout the skin and the respiratory system. Doxycycline can also be used to treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and malaria.

What Does Doxycycline Treat?

Doxycycline can be used to treat a range of bacterial infections, including acne and rosacea, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), gum or tooth infections and malaria.

Doxycycline for Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that usually affects people during puberty, but which can often continue into adulthood. It causes spots, oily skin and, in some cases, skin that's hot, tender or sore to the touch. Acne normally affects the face, back and chest.

Doxycycline is an effective treatment for mild to severe inflammatory acne; it works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin, easing inflammation and reducing the appearance of pus-filled bumps known as cysts or pustules.

Doxycycline for Rosacea

Rosacea is often misdiagnosed as acne, but it is in fact a long-term skin condition that causes intermittent redness across the nose, chin, cheeks and forehead. If you have Rosacea, you may also notice a burning or stinging sensation when using water or skincare products.

Efracea Capsules contain the active ingredient doxycycline in a slow-release formulation. They can be used by adults to treat the pimples and red bumps appearing around the face that are caused by acne rosacea.

Doxycycline for Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. It is a bacterial infection that is passed on through unprotected sex and is most common in young adults and sexually active teenagers.

Doxycycline can be used to treat various STIs (including gonorrhoea or syphilis, for example), but Doxycycline Capsules are the current recommended antibiotic treatment for chlamydia. A course of doxycycline will normally clear up most cases of chlamydia within 7 days.

Doxycycline 100mg Capsules
Doxycycline 100mg Capsules
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Doxycycline for Malaria

Malaria is very common in tropical regions of the world, and is caused by an infected mosquito bite; it often leads to a fever, vomiting and headaches, and can be very serious if not treated. If you’re looking for an effective antimalarial medication for your travels or holiday abroad, Doxycycline Capsules are a reliable antibiotic treatment for preventing malaria in at-risk areas.

Where is malaria most common?

  • Central and South America
  • Large parts of Africa and Asia
  • Some parts of the Middle East
  • Some of the Pacific Islands

Before travelling to any of these locations, be sure to check with your doctor whether you’re at risk of malaria and, if required, start taking an antimalarial medicine at least a few days before you travel. Taking a reliable antimalarial treatment can reduce your risk of contracting the disease by up to 90%.

Doxycycline for Chest Infection

A chest infection often follows a bout of cold or flu, and can be accompanied by a chesty cough, wheezing or shortness of breath, and pain or tightness in the chest. Most chest infections are mild and will clear up on their own, but occasionally they can be severe.

Because doxycycline kills a wide range of bacteria that can affect the respiratory system, it is often prescribed for conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis, and can be effective treatment for respiratory infections. You can also take decongestants to help clear the mucus in your lungs.

Doxycycline for Tooth Infection

A tooth infection or a dental abscess can be very painful, and is sometimes accompanied by a redness or swelling in the face or an increased sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink. You may also develop a high temperature or feel generally unwell if the infection spreads.

Prudent dental care is often the most effective way of preventing a tooth or gum abscess, and you should normally visit a dentist if you think you have a dental infection. However, doxycycline is often an effective treatment for dental infections, as it kills the growth of bacteria causing the infection itself, and can reduce inflammation and ease pain.


Doxycycline can be used to treat a number of conditions caused by bacterial infections. It is always important to see your doctor for a diagnosis and prescription as the strength and dose of doxycycline is different for each condition. For free, impartial medical advice you can contact our medical team by email or telephone.

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