Can doxycycline ruin your life? (5+ disturbing side effects) 

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Page last updated: 24/09/2022

Can doxycycline ruin your life? (5+ disturbing side effects) 

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the possibility of doxycycline ruining your life. It is an antibiotic and is associated with a lot of nerve-racking side effects, which can severely disrupt people’s lives. 

This blog will cover all the long term side effects which continue to make you suffer even after stopping doxycycline. 

Can doxycycline ruin your life? 

Doxycycline can ruin your life if it causes long term side effects in you, which continue to linger around even after the discontinuation of this antibiotic. 

This can badly affect your normal life and you suffer from health conditions which were nowhere around you before you started taking doxycycline. 

However, it does not affect everyone like that. No medication is capable of affecting people in the exact same way. There are some people who get away with common antibiotic-related side effects, whereas the unfortunate ones, sometimes, get scarred for life. 

Let’s discuss some of the nerve-racking, long term side effects of doxycycline. 

Irritable bowel syndrome 

The use of doxycycline may develop an upsetting condition called Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. 

The link between these two have been studied multiple times and it has been concluded that people taking doxycycline are more susceptible to IBS and complications that come with it. IBS is a syndrome of the digestive system. 

It is a chronic condition that develops over time and does not go away that easy. This syndrome is not associated with a single or one type of symptom. 

It actually comes with a number of symptoms and conditions, affecting your digestive health and bowel movements. People with IBS suffer from abnormal bowel movements, including symptoms like:

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation 
  • Frequent urge to pass stool
  • Inability to have a complete bowel movement
  • Pain during a bowel movement 
  • Bleeding
  • Anal fissure or fistula
  • Haemorrhoids 
  • Burning sensation in anal canal

IBS can cause severe abdominal pain. The intensity of pain, however, varies from person to person. Some people feel excruciating pain while others have mild pain. 

It is also associated with psychological symptoms. The pain and discomfort associated with IBS can trigger anxiety episodes in some people. The treatment duration or failure can also cause depression in some people as it’s not that easy to live with disturbing symptoms of IBS. 

Experts also believe that anxiety and depression can exacerbate the gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS and make them even more pronounced. In short, this is a disturbing condition which doesn’t go away that easily. 

Can doxycycline ruin your life? (5+ disturbing side effects) 

Liver toxicity 

Doxycycline can damage your liver and the functions associated with it. However, this side effect is rare and does not occur in the majority of the people taking this antibiotic, but if it does, it makes things difficult for you for a long, long time. 

One case study represented a 32 year old male who started exhibiting disturbing side effects just after a week of using doxycycline. His liver function test showed elevated liver enzyme levels along with bilirubin much higher than the normal range. 

He also showed signs of jaundice as his eyes were yellow, urine was dark colored and he suffered from severe abdominal pain. His blood tests also revealed eosinophilia, a condition associated with elevated levels of eosinophils, a type of white blood cells. 

Experts concluded that doxycycline had caused acute liver toxicity in this patient and made him suffer from all the symptoms associated with it. 

Haematological disorders

Doxycycline is also associated with haematological disorders or blood-related problems. 

One study monitored the effects of this drug on the levels of blood cells in test subjects and concluded that the use of doxycycline can cause neutropenia (deficiency of neutrophils), anaemia (deficiency of red blood cells) and thrombocytopenia (deficiency of platelets). 

A case study represented a 42 year old male who was presented in a hospital with signs of extreme fatigue and weakness. His blood reports indicated the presence of aplastic anaemia, a condition associated with bone marrow failure as it fails to produce new blood cells. 

His medication history revealed the use of doxycycline, which was later linked with his anaemia. 

Aplastic anaemia as a side effect of doxycycline is very rare, but if it occurs, it causes pretty disturbing symptoms and you don’t find enough energy in yourself to even stand up or do simple tasks like change your clothes. 

Photosensitivity 

Photosensitivity is another side effect associated with doxycycline, which may linger even after stopping this medication. Several surveys have revealed that such people find it difficult to go out in the sun, and if they do, they suffer from painful symptoms including:

  • Painful red rashes on skin
  • Blisters, with or without pus
  • Peeling skin
  • Itching 
  • Severe burning sensation 
  • photo-onycholysis, which is a rare reaction associated with photosensitivity. In this condition, any one or more of the fingernails start detaching from the skin. 

The above mentioned symptoms are pretty disturbing and painful. Doxycycline induced photosensitivity can create hindrance in your daily life activities and you have to sit at home, preferably in darker places, because your skin can’t bear bright light. 

Increased intracranial pressure followed by blindness

Doxycycline can significantly increase your intracranial pressure and makes you go through excruciating headaches. This effect is, however, rare but it can cause changes in your vision. 

Immediately reach out to your healthcare professional if you feel constant heaviness, pressure and pain in your head or if you notice your vision getting blurry or inability to focus on objects. 

The continuation of doxycycline after increased intracranial pressure can cause irreversible blindness. 

Stomach ulcers

All antibiotics are associated with upsetting gastrointestinal side effects and doxycycline is no exception. However, it can cause severe wounds on your stomach mucosal membrane caused as a result of acid exposure. 

The can give rise to long term ulcers or stomach sores, which can cause serious symptoms including:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Inability to eat food
  • Internal gastrointestinal bleeding 
  • Bloody stools
  • Bloody vomiting 
  • Extreme acid reflux and heartburn

This condition completely ruins your appetite and leaves nothing but bland foods for you to eat, as your damaged stomach can not bear spicy foods. 

This condition can last longer as the stomach takes a long time to heal, and that too with a strict diet. Unhealthy eating patterns and dehydration can make the healing process much longer for you. 

What is doxycycline and why is it used? 

Doxycycline, as discussed earlier, is an antibiotic. It belongs to the class of tetracyclines and can be used to treat a variety of bacterial infections including eye infections, skin infections, respiratory infections, sexually transmitted infections, and is also used in the prevention of malaria. 

Doxycycline inhibits the bacterial protein synthesis and disrupts metabolic functions. This is how it treats your infections. 

Additional side effects of doxycycline 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Skin rash, unrelated to photosensitivity 
  • Discoloration of teeth
  • Headache and Increased intracranial pressure
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Tonsillitis
  • Difficulty in swallowing 

Doxycycline can cause severe allergic reactions which could include Stevens-Johnson syndrome. You might notice red, swollen, or blistered skin, with or without fever. Allergic reactions, like rash, hives are common. 

It also includes wheezing, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, swallowing, or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Few of these symptoms indicate anaphylactic shock. 

This med can also cause permanent discoloration of teeth to grey, brown or yellow teeth, when used in children. It should not be used in pregnancy, especially during the third trimester as it may cause bone abnormalities in the growing fetus. 

Make sure you always talk to your healthcare provider about your side effects and make sure that this medication is safe for you to continue before actually doing so. No medicine is free from side effects, but if it causes serious or unusual side effects, talk to your doctor right away. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the possibility of doxycycline ruining your life. It is an antibiotic and is associated with a lot of nerve-racking side effects, which can severely disrupt people’s lives. 

The use of doxycycline may develop an upsetting condition called Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. It can also damage your liver and the functions associated with it. 

Doxycycline is also associated with haematological disorders or blood-related problems, including neutropenia (deficiency of neutrophils), anaemia (deficiency of red blood cells) and thrombocytopenia (deficiency of platelets). 

It may also cause photosensitivity, which may linger even after stopping this medication. This antibiotic can also cause increased intracranial pressure which can give rise to an irreversible blindness.

Immediately reach out to your healthcare professional if you feel constant heaviness, pressure and pain in your head or if you notice your vision getting blurry or inability to focus on objects. 

FAQs: doxycycline ruined my life 

Why do I feel so sick on doxycycline?

Doxycycline can cause a number of side effects which can make you feel sick. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Skin rash, unrelated to photosensitivity 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Headache and Increased intracranial pressure
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Tonsillitis
  • Difficulty in swallowing 

Can doxycycline make you feel worse?

Yes, doxycycline can make you feel worse as it has a number of side effects and may not be tolerated well by some people. This antibiotic can also cause serious long term side effects. 

How do you stop the side effects of doxycycline?

Common side effects usually go away on their own, or you can use some home remedies to help tone them down. In case of gastrointestinal side effects, make sure you drink plenty of water which may help dilute the acid down. 

You can also take over-the-counter acid reducers and probiotics to help make your stomach a little better. Severe side effects are more troublesome and can result in discontinuation of the treatment. 

Is doxycycline a strong antibiotic?

Yes, doxycycline is a strong antibiotic and is used to treat infections which are resistant to the treatment with other antibiotics. However, the potency of the drug can also relate to the dose at which it is prescribed. Stubborn infections may require much higher doses to produce sufficient antibacterial effects. 

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to doxycycline?

Doxycycline can cause severe allergic reactions which could include Stevens-Johnson syndrome. You might notice red, swollen, or blistered skin, with or without fever. 

Allergic reactions, like rash, hives are common. It also includes wheezing, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, swallowing, or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Few of these symptoms indicate anaphylactic shock. 

What are the most common side effects of doxycycline?

Common side effects of doxycycline include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, Skin rash unrelated to photosensitivity, heart palpitations, headache, increased intracranial pressure, pancreatitis, muscle pain, abdominal pain, tonsillitis and difficulty in swallowing. 

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