Antibiotics Home > Doxycycline Precautions and Warnings

Before taking doxycycline, precautions and warnings for the antibiotic should be discussed with your healthcare provider. A negative reaction to doxycycline may occur in people with certain medical conditions or who have allergies to any ingredients in the drug. To be aware of all doxycycline precautions and warnings, tell your healthcare provider if you have liver disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding, have any allergies, or are taking other medications.

Doxycycline: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk to your healthcare provider prior to taking doxycycline if you:
  • Liver disease or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Doxycycline Precautions and Warnings

Precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking doxycycline include the following:
  • Doxycycline can interact with certain medications (see Doxycycline Drug Interactions).
  • Doxycycline is considered pregnancy Category D medicine. This means that there is significant risk to an unborn baby. However, there may be extreme circumstances under which the use of doxycycline may justify the risk. If you are pregnant, discuss this with your healthcare provider before using doxycycline (see Doxycycline and Pregnancy for more information).


  • If you have kidney disease or severe liver disease, your healthcare provider may choose to give you a lower dose than normal or not prescribe the drug at all.
  • If you are breastfeeding, it is known that doxycycline passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking doxycycline (see Doxycycline and Breastfeeding)


  • Taking doxycycline during pregnancy or before the age of 8 may cause the permanent discoloring of teeth in the infant or child.
  • Many antibiotics have been known to cause pseudomembranous colitis (severe diarrhea). If you experience such symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • While taking antibiotics such as doxycycline, other infections have been known to occur (vaginal yeast infections, etc.). If you notice symptoms unrelated to your original condition, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Antibiotics have been known to cause increased pressure in the skull. This usually stops when the antibiotic is discontinued. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following while taking doxycycline:
    • Dizziness.
  • To avoid ulcers and esophageal pain while taking doxycycline, make sure to drink plenty of fluids with your medicine.
  • Skin reactions that resemble serious sunburns may occur if you are exposed to sunlight while taking doxycycline. Try to avoid unnecessary sunlight exposure while taking this antibiotic. If sunlight exposure is unavoidable, cover as much of your skin as possible (long sleeves, long pants, or a hat), and use a sunscreen with a rating of SPF 45 or higher.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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