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Home / Travel Health / Malaria / Doxycycline


Multi-purpose antibiotic against malaria and chlamydia

  • Box of Doxycycline 100mg capsules
  • Box of Doxycycline capsules with blister pack
  • Front view of Doxycycline 100mg capsules blister pack
Dr. Sarah Donald
Dr. Sarah Donald Clinical Lead

How does it work?

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections, one of the most common being the STI chlamydia. It can also be used as a preventative treatment for malaria. Doxycycline is a versatile medication and can also cure non-specific urethritis, mycoplasma genitalium and ureaplasma urealyticum.

The highly effective chlamydia treatment prevents the spread of bacteria causing sexually transmitted infections by inhibiting the production of a protein which helps the bacteria to reproduce. This allows the body's immune system to attack the infection, which finally kills it.

In malaria prevention, doxycycline targets the malaria parasite directly by preventing its protein production. This stops the parasite from reproducing and thus hinders it from manifesting an infection. If the parasite can't spread, the immune system can rapidly remove it from the body avoiding serious health implications for travellers.

Who can take it?

Doxycycline is used widely and is suitable for most people, however you will not be prescribed this if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also not use this medication if you have sensitivity to doxycycline, minocycline or tetracycline.

If you are currently taking vitamin or mineral supplements, you should mention this to your doctor, as these types of treatments have been known to render the drug less effective. This includes medications or supplements containing calcium, aluminium, magnesium and iron.

How do you take it?

Depending on which condition you want to treat, there are different guidelines to follow regarding the course of your treatment with doxycycline. 121doc prescribes this antibiotic for malaria prevention and to treat chlamydia, please find all information on how to treat these conditions with doxycycline below.

Doxycycline as part of the malaria prevention therapy

This treatment should be started two days before you leave for a region with a high malaria risk as part of your travels. The treatment should be continued for the duration of your stay and up to four weeks afterwards. It is vital to remember to take your prescribed dosis every day to ensure that the level of Doxycycline remains high enough in your system to avoid infection. Malaria can remain in your system for a long time without causing you to feel ill, which is why you may be advised to continue taking your medication after your return.

Doxycycline: course of treatment against chlamydia

Doxycycline is commonly prescrived to treat sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia. The medication is normally prescribed in a standard dose for chlamydia, non-specific urethritis, mycoplasma genitalium and ureaplasma urealyticum of 14 tablets containing 100mg of the active ingredient each.

If not otherwise advised by your doctor, you should take doxycycline according to the following instructions:

  • Take one tablet twice daily for a period of seven days
  • If you miss a dose, take your tablet as soon as you remember
  • Continue the whole course, even if you feel better

Doxycycline is likely to improve your symptoms quickly, but in order to treat chlamydia successfully, it is very important to remember to take the full course of the prescribed treatment, even if you start feeling better.

You should not have sexual intercourse for two weeks (14 days) after finishing the course of treatment to make sure the antibiotics have taken effect. You can also request an additional follow-up test to make sure the infection has cleared but it is recommended that you wait for a two-week period before doing so.

STI Protection

It is important to remember that you can get chlamydia and any other STIs again if you don't take the necessary precautions. The recommended measure that diminishes your chances of catching infections is wearing a condom.

If you are sexually active, particularly with multiple partners, you can get tested for free at the appropriate STI Clinics or GUM Clinics across the UK. There might be a wait to be seen but the check-up is quick and you can get complete cover and free condoms too.

What are the side effects?

Although doxycycline is highly effective in a low dose and unlikely to cause serious side effects, as with any other prescription drug complications may occur. The most common side effects may include diarrhoea, thrush, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain and a sensitivity to light.

If you are experiencing diarrhoea, it advised to steer clear of using diarrhoea tablets as these could make the side effect worse. These lighter side effects shouldn't be a cause for concern, but if they persist or you start to develop anything more serious, you should seek medical advice straight away.

Although this is rare, Doxycycline may cause intracranial hypertension in women who are overweight, childbearing age and there is a family history of the illness. Symptoms of intracranial hypertension include changes to your vision including blurred vision and headaches. If you're experiencing this, visit your doctor.

An allergic reaction to Doxycycline needs prompt medical attention. Symptoms include a fever, hives, rash, joint pain and fatigue. This could also be a result of the body combatting the medication; a condition called autoimmune syndrome.

Women should also be aware that Doxycycline can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, especially if it contains oestrogen. Please check with your doctor and use additional protection such as condoms for the remainder of that cycle.

If you are taking doxycycline to treat Chlamydia and you are experiencing symptoms of an infection which have not improved by the time you have finished your course of treatment, consult your doctor or a sexual health clinic immediately.

Ordering online

You can order Doxycycline online at 121doc. To ensure that our doctors have all the right information regarding your current health and the destination you are travelling to, we ask all our patients to complete an online consultation form. This form will be checked and if approved, a prescription for your travel treatment will be sent to our pharmacy from where your order will be sent directly to you. All orders with 121doc include a free consultation and next day delivery.

Treatment Information
Treatment Information
Product Name: Doxycycline Malaria
Active Ingredient(s): Doxycycline hyclate
Manufacturer: General Pharmaceutical Council
Description: Doxycycline kan prevent and treat a malaria infection
Exemption: Subject to medical prescription
Administration: Oral
Presentation: Tablets
Available Dosage: 100mg
Application: Men and women over 18 with malaria infection
Posology: Lower daily dose over a longer period of time, depending of travel
Drug class: Tetracyclines
Alcohol consumption: Not recommended, ask your doctor for alternatives
When breastfeeding: Caution is recommended, ask your doctor and read the leaflet thoroughly for each treatment
When pregnant: Caution is recommended, ask your doctor and read the leaflet thoroughly for each treatment
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