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When humans have serious infections and diseases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics as an effective method of treatment. Before you start to take an antibiotic, a doctor may notify you about certain contraindications. One of them is to avoid drinking alcohol and using antibiotics at the same time.

Doxycycline is a common antibiotic and many people wonder whether it is safe to mix it with alcohol. Briefly speaking, if you have a few drinks, this may impact the effectiveness of this antibiotic. In general, it will be a good idea to restrict yourself from drinking alcohol while you take any type of medication.

What is doxycycline?

doxycycline over the counter

Doxycycline is abroad-spectrum antibiotic that is prescribed by doctors as a treatment for various bacterial infections, for instance, respiratory and skin infections. Moreover, doxycycline is taken for the prevention of malaria (a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes and caused by a parasite).

Doxycycline likewise has anti-inflammatory effects. If a human has acne and rosacea (a skin state that induces skin bumps and blemishes), a doctor will very likely prescribe a doxycycline antibiotic as an effective treatment.

How it works

One may divide antibiotics into classes. Healthcare providers classify doxycycline in the tetracycline class and it hinders bacteria’s capability to produce proteins. This, in turn, doesn’t let bacteria grow and multiply. Thus, we can conclude that doxycycline is helpful for treating and hindering bacterial infections.

Also, doxycycline is capable of killing acne-causing bacteria. This, in turn, assists to decrease the amount of sebum in the skin (a critical element in acne shaping). For rosacea condition, doxycycline is taken to reduce skin inflammation.

Common uses

Doxycycline is regarded as an antibiotic of broad-spectrum. Healthcare providers may prescribe this medication for a lot of various reasons. You may discover that doxycycline is sold under numerous diverse brand names, for instance, Acticlate, Morgidox, Avidoxy, etc.

The United States Food and Drug Administration provided permission to take doxycycline for particular conditions. Doctors usually prescribe doxycycline if a patient suffers acne, rosacea, sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea), bacterial eye infections, malaria and Lyme disease, abscesses, bacterial respiratory infections, and others.

Potential Side Effects

Side effects can be caused because of medication use. A doxycycline antibiotic is no exception. However, not everybody may have side effects from taking doxycycline. Approximately 1 in 10 patients may feel common side effects because of doxycycline.

Headaches, vomiting, skin sensitivity to sunlight, and feeling sick refer to common doxycycline side effects. Serious side effects happen rarely and just less than 1 in 1,000 patients may start to feel them. Contact your doctor if you have serious side effects such as severe headaches and vomiting, ringing in the ears, muscle pain, trouble with vision, severe pain in the stomach, etc.

Mixing Doxycycline and Alcohol

It isn’t recommended to drink alcohol if you are prescribed a doxycycline antibiotic. However, is everything so obvious? Patients wonder possible risks of simultaneously using doxycycline and alcohol.

If you let yourself have a few drinks, you may decrease the doxycycline level in your blood. This implies this antibiotic may be not as effective as you expect. At the same time, drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities together with doxycycline may lead to failed or prolonged treatment.

Drinking on Doxycycline

If you give in to temptation and have a few drinks while taking doxycycline, there is no necessity to panic. As a rule, alcohol doesn’t cause a severe reaction with this antibiotic. Still, patients who suffer from chronic drinking or heavy alcohol use should avoid consuming alcohol while on doxycycline use. Otherwise, it will shorten the antibiotic’s effects on the body.

Can you drink alcohol while taking antibiotics?

Antibiotics are serious medications prescribed for the treatment of various diseases and infections. In some cases, alcohol and antibiotic mixing is strictly prohibited. You can simply decrease the effectiveness of taking antibiotics and slow down your recovery from illness. Although modest alcohol use with antibiotics maybe acceptable, it is still advisable to refuse alcohol until you finish taking antibiotics.

Alcohol and Immune System

alcohol and doxycycline

Healthcare professionals will inform you to avoid drinking alcohol not only when you take medication such as antibiotics. Alcohol is generally harmful to your body and can cause serious health troubles. It can change the reaction of your immune system as well. Both moderate and heavy alcohol consumption is connected with an increased risk of bacterial and viral infections.

What Else Should I Avoid While Taking Doxycycline?

Doxycycline may not be effective if you mix it with alcoholic beverages. What’s more, doxycycline won’t provide you with the necessary treatment if you take it with foods or supplements containing calcium or other minerals. Thus, make sure you take doxycycline two hours before or after you consume dairy products, iron supplements, antacids containing calcium carbonate, laxatives containing magnesium, etc.


Doxycycline is an irreplaceable medication taken for bacterial infection treatment. Although consuming alcoholic drinks while using particular antibiotics can be harmful and cause unpleasant results, it is relatively secure to mix alcohol with doxycycline.

Nevertheless, if a patient has an alcohol addiction or takes several medications, it will be proper to stop consuming alcohol while doxycycline use. Remember that alcohol impacts your immune system in a negative way. If you make a decision to have a drink while using doxycycline, you will simply prolong your recovery.


What happens if you drink alcohol while taking doxycycline?

If you mix alcohol and doxycycline, this won’t lead to serious troubles. Still, if a human has an alcohol addiction, it is recommended to avoid taking doxycycline and replace it with other antibiotics.

How long after doxycycline can I drink alcohol?

After you stop taking doxycycline, you may drink alcohol 48 hours later. Yet, drink use may be acceptable in reasonable amounts while you take doxycycline.

Which antibiotics can you not drink alcohol with?

Mixing some antibiotics with alcohol is strictly contraindicated. In particular, avoid drinking alcohol and taking metronidazole and tinidazole simultaneously.

Dylan Green

Dr. Dylan Green is a highly qualified physician and an expert in medical article writing. With extensive knowledge in the fields of men's health, healthy lifestyles, and nutrition, he provides valuable insights and evidence-based information. While the articles serve as a valuable resource, consulting with your own doctor is essential for comprehensive and tailored medical advice. Your health is unique, and professional guidance is crucial to making informed decisions for your well-being.