Antibiotics Home > Doxycycline

Doxycycline is a common antibiotic often used for the treatment of various infections, such as bacterial infections, anthrax, malaria, and acne. The medication is part of a class of drugs called tetracyclines, and works by decreasing bacteria's ability to make protein (which it needs to live). Doxycycline is available in several forms, and is usually taken once or twice a day.

What Is Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a prescription antibiotic that is licensed to treat a number of common bacterial infections.

What Is It Used For?

Common uses for the drug include the following:
  • Treatment of bacterial infections, such as:
  • An alternative for malaria prevention



  • Treatment of periodontitis (gum disease). 


Doxycycline has not been approved for use in children under the age of eight.
(Click Doxycycline Uses for more information on each specific use.)

How Does It Work?

Doxycycline is part of a class of drugs called tetracyclines. It decreases bacteria's ability to make protein, which bacteria need to live. This activity does not directly kill the bacteria, but it does inhibit their growth and multiplication, which gives the immune system a chance to fight the infection. For treating gum disease, doxycycline actually works to inhibit an enzyme in the saliva known as collagenase.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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