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Patients taking doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis should be advised:
- that no present-day antimalarial agent, including doxycycline, guarantees protection against malaria.
- to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using personal protective measures that help avoid contact with mosquitoes, especially from dusk to dawn (e.g., staying in well-screened areas, using mosquito nets, covering the body with clothing, and using an effective insect repellent).
- that doxycycline prophylaxis:
- should begin 1–2 days before travel to the malarious area,
- should be continued daily while in the malarious area and after leaving the malarious area,
- should be continued for 4 further weeks to avoid development of malaria after returning from an endemic area,
- should not exceed 4 months.
All patients taking doxycycline should be advised:
- to avoid excessive sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light while receiving doxycycline and to discontinue therapy if phototoxicity (e.g., skin eruption, etc.) occurs. Sunscreen or sunblock should be considered. (See WARNINGS.)
- to drink fluids liberally along with doxycycline to reduce the risk of esophageal irritation and ulceration. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
- that the absorption of tetracyclines is reduced when taken with foods, especially those which contain calcium. However, the absorption of doxycycline is not markedly influenced by simultaneous ingestion of food or milk. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS.)
- that the absorption of tetracyclines is reduced when taking bismuth subsalicylate. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS.)
- that the use of doxycycline might increase the incidence of vaginal candidiasis.
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs, including Vibramycin should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When Vibramycin is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by Vibramycin or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibacterial drugs, which usually ends when the antibacterials are discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibacterial drugs, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibacterial drug. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/17/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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