Doxycycline 100mg Capsules are available to buy from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation, to help prevent malaria. To find out more about malaria and see all the available treatments, see our Online Doctor Malaria page.
What is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is an antibiotic. It has multiple uses as an antibiotic, ranging from chest infections to acne. However, it can also be used to prevent and treat Malaria.
Whether it’s the appropriate Malaria treatment for you will depend on various factors:
- Is it the appropriate treatment for your destination(s)?
- My medical history – current conditions & medicines.
- Have you had Malaria prevention treatment in the past?
The Malaria parasite is carried by Mosquitoes and passed onto humans through their saliva when they bite. Not all Malaria parasites are the same, in fact there are four distinctive kinds. Certain drugs will be effective against one kind but ineffective against another, which is why opting for the correct treatment is imperative.
For Example, Thailand recommends ‘DOX’ (Doxycycline) or ‘AP’ (Atovaquone/Proguanil aka Malarone). This means we known the strain of Malaria present in this region isn’t resistant to Doxycycline or Malarone, making these two options the appropriate choices.
You can check the malaria requirements for your desination using our Interactive Travel Map – just select your destination to get all the travel health information you need for your trip.
How does Doxycycline work?
When it is being taken for the prevention of Malaria, Doxycycline is used in its own. Doxycycline prevents the development of the Malaria causing parasites in the blood. This means that if you are bitten by a mosquito infected with Malaria, the parasite will be destroyed before it has the chance to replicate and cause infection.
How much Doxycycline will I need?
You start taking it 2 days before you enter the malaria area. It’s then taken for the duration of your stay and continued for 4 week after departing. So, if you’re going away for 2 weeks to a country or region where Doxycycline is recommended, you’ll need 44 capsules.
- Start taking 2 days before entering Malaria zone = 2 capsules
- 2 weeks stay (14 days) in the Malaria zone = 14 capsules
- Continued for 4 weeks (28 days) after leaving the Malaria zone = 28 capsules
- Therefore, 2 + 14 + 28 = 44 capsules
When Doxycycline is purchased from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor, we do all the maths for you – all you need to do is select your trip length and we will do the rest!
Doxycycline is taken once daily. It needs to be started 2 days before travel and continued for 4 weeks after returning.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information
Pharmacist Tip: Doxycyline is not suitable during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Any side effects experienced can usually be helped by taking the capsules with or after food. Doxycycline can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight leading to sunburn and it reduces the effectiveness of contraceptives, so be sure to take adequate care during and after the course.
Use insect repellents containing 50% DEET; these are the most effective repellents. Apply them to all exposed areas of skin and reapply frequently to prevent mosqutio bites.
- You should take one capsule every day at roughly the same time each day.
- Doxycycline needs to be taken two days before entering an area where malaria is present and continued until four weeks after leaving the malaria area.
- You should take Doxycycline with or after food and with a full glass of water.
- Doxycycline remains effective with a small alcohol intake.
The most significant and noteworthy side-effect is an increased sensitivity to sunlight. Considering that Malaria risk countries tend to be tropical or hot climates then for most cases the sun’s blistering rays can easily become an issue. Using a very high factor sunscreen (Spf50+) is highly recommended. Also, be sure to pack protective sunglasses as even the eyes can suffer from this increased sensitivity.
Other common side effects include:
- Stomach upset
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Sore tongue
- Inflammation of the liver or bowel
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects. If you experience any adverse effects from taking your prescribed medicine it is important to let us know immediately. Please log in to your online account and message one of our healthcare professionals or alternatively call us on 0117 971 1603. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.
You should try to avoid taking Doxycycline around the same time as foods or supplements containing high levels of calcium, iron or magnesium as this can reduce its effectiveness. This particularly applies to dairy products.
Doxycycline is not 100% effective at preventing malaria, however it is still very effective if taken properly and combined with bite avoidance methods.
Remember to always wear high factor sun cream or protect your skin from direct sunlight whilst taking Doxycycline. Severe sunburn can be extremely unpleasant and even dangerous.
It is also important to get the correct vaccinations for your trip before you travel. These should be administered around 6 weeks before you leave.
Malaria can take up to a year to develop after you have been bitten. If you experience symptoms including headaches, night sweats and abdominal pain any time during your trip or up to one year afterwards you must see a doctor as soon as possible.
Stop taking your medicine and tell your doctor immediately, or go to accident and emergency if you notice any of the following symptoms. Although the symptoms are very rare, they may be severe.
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction - sudden wheeziness, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, fever, sudden swellings of the face, lips, tongue, throat, hands or feet, rash or itching (especially affecting the whole body), pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart), worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune disease).
- Severe skin reactions such as erythema multiforme (circular, irregular red patches), Stevens- Johnson syndrome (rash with flushing, fever, blisters or ulcers), toxic epidermal necrolysis (reddening, peeling and swelling that resembles burns).
- Sensitivity to sunlight - you may get a skin rash, itching, redness or severe sunburn when out in sunlight or after using a sun bed Increased pressure in the skull (severe headaches, blurred and/or double vision, blind spots, permanent loss of vision)
- Swollen tongue, severe watery or bloody diarrhoea, fever and cramps (pseudomembranous colitis)
- Low blood pressure
- Aches in the joints or muscles\
- Unusual rapid heart beats (palpitations)
- Blood disorders (symptoms may include tiredness, weakness, easy bruising or susceptibility to infection)
Doxycycline may be unsuitable to be prescribed online if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Especially:
- Penicillin antibiotics (used to treat infections) Rifampicin (used to treat tuberculosis) Anticoagulants (used to thin the blood, e.g. warfarin) Quinapril (used to lower high blood pressure) Kaolin (used to treat diarrhoea).
- Sucralfate (used to treat and prevent stomach ulcers).
- Oral contraceptives (“The Pill?). This medicine may make the oral contraceptive pill less effective. You should use additional contraceptive precautions whilst taking this medicine and for 7 days after stopping.
- Barbiturates (strong sleeping tablets, e.g. phenobarbital).
- Ergotamine or methysergide (used to treat migraines or headaches).
- Typhoid vaccine (used to prevent typhoid fever if travelling to infected areas of the world).
- Carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone or other drugs used to control epilepsy.
- Ciclosporin (used to affect the body?s immune response following organ transplants).
- Methoxyflurane (an anaesthetic). If you need an operation, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Doxycycline.
- Methotrexate (used to treat cancer, psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis).
- Medicines such as antacids (indigestion tablets or liquids) containing aluminium, calcium, magnesium or other medicines containing iron, bismuth or zinc salts, should not be taken at the same time as your medicine, as absorption of your medicine may be reduced.
- Retinoids (used to treat various skin conditions).
The active substance (the ingredient that make the capsules work) is doxycycline hyclate. Each capsule contains 100mg of doxycycline hyclate.
The other ingredients in the capsule are sucrose, maize starch, crospovidone, polymethacrylate and talc. The capsule shell contains gelatin and the colourings E171, E132 and E172. The white printing contains shellac, propylene glycol, ammonium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and the colour E171.