Who can take doxycycline?

It is important to tell your health professional if you:

  • are taking any other medicines
  • have a current illness
  • have any allergies to food or other medicines (e.g. other antibiotics)
  • have any long-term health conditions (e.g. heart, liver or kidney problems).
  • This will help your health professional decide if doxycycline is suitable for you.

Antibiotics and allergic reactions

If you or your child has ever had an allergic reaction when taking doxycycline or any antibiotic in the past, you must tell your doctor. This may mean that you will not be able to take doxycyline and will have to take an alternative type of antibiotic.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:

  • hives (large, red raised areas on the skin)
  • swollen lips, tongue, or mouth
  • fever
  • breathing problems
  • fainting.


Doxycycline should not be given to children younger than 8 years.

This is because it can discolour their teeth and affect tooth enamel formation. Doxycycline can also affect bone growth.

Can I take doxycycline if I am pregnant?

Doxycycline is generally not recommended during pregnancy.

If necessary, it can be taken if you are less than 16 weeks pregnant. Doxycycline can’t be used if you are more than 16 weeks pregnant because it can affect the developing baby's teeth. It can also cause liver problems at high doses in pregnant women.

Can I take doxycycline if I am breastfeeding?

It is safe to breastfeed your baby if you are taking doxycycline for no longer than 7–10 days.

Find out more about the infections doxycycline is used for, and its side effects and interactions.

Phone for medicines information

Call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) to get information about your prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and mineral supplements) from a pharmacist. Your call will be answered by healthdirect Australia.

  • Rossi S, ed. Australian Medicines Handbook [online]. Adelaide: AMH, July 2012.
  • Sweetman S, ed. Martindale: The complete drug reference [online]. London: Pharmaceutical Press (accessed 18 October 2011).
  • Antibiotic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic version 14; Doxycycline. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2012 (accessed 27 March 2012).