From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Toxic sludge 80px.png

WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic, a class of drugs that work by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.[1] It is sold under the brand names Doryx, Monodox, Vibramycin, and Vibra-Tabs.

Why It's Prescribed

Doxycycline is prescribed to treat bacterial infections like pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections, Lyme disease, acne, skin infections, urinary infections, plague, cholera, some sexually transmitted diseases, and anthrax.[2] It is also prescribed to prevent malaria.

Doxycycline Hyclate is prescribed for the following labeled uses:[3] Acne Vulgaris, Actinomycosis, Acute Gonococcal Cervicitis, Acute Gonococcal Endometritis, Acute Gonococcal Epididymo-Orchitis, Acute Gonococcal Urethritis, Acute Lower Genitourinary Gonorrhea, Acute Staph. Aureus Sinusitis, Bacterial Pneumonia, Bacterial Urinary Tract Infection, Bartonellosis, Boutonneuse Fever, Bronchitis, Brucellosis, Chancroid, Chlamydial Infections, Chloroquine-Resistant Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria Prevention, Cholera, Cutaneous Anthrax, Disseminated Gonococcal Infection, Gastrointestinal Anthrax, Genitourinary Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection, Gonococcal Pharyngitis, Granuloma Inguinale, Inclusion Conjunctivitis, Inhaled Anthrax, Listeriosis, Louse-Borne Typhus, Lymphogranuloma Venereum, Murine Typhus, Mycoplasmal Pneumonia, Nongonococcal Urethritis, Periodontitis Adjunct Therapy, Pharyngitis, Post-Exposure Anthrax Prevention, Psittacosis, Q Fever, Recrudescent Typhus, Rectal Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection, Rectal Gonorrhea, Relapsing Fever, Rickettsial Infection, Rickettsialpox, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Scrub Typhus, Sinusitis, Skin and Skin Structure Infection, Syphilis, Trachoma, Tularemia, Typhus Infections, Yaws

It is also prescribed for the following unlabeled uses:[4] Acne Rosacea, Atypical Mycobacterial Infection, Chlamydial Epididymitis, Chloroquine Resistant Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria, Ehrlichiosis, Enterocolitis, Gingivostomatitis, Leptospirosis, Lyme Arthritis, Lyme Disease, Lyme Disease Prevention, Malaria, Ocular Rosacea, Plague, Plasmodium Vivax Malaria Prevention, Postexposure Plague Prophylaxis, Severe Malaria, Sexual Transmitted Disease Exposure from Sexual Assault, Traveler's Diarrhea

Form, Route, and Dosage

Doxycycline is available as a regular and a coated capsule, a tablet, a syrup, and a suspension (liquid), all to take orally.[5] Adults are generally instructed to take no more than 300mg of doxycycline in a 24 hour period.[6]


Side Effects

Patients taking Doxycycline may suffer side effects, including the following:[7]

  • diarrhea
  • itching of the rectum or vagina
  • sore mouth
  • severe headache
  • blurred vision
  • skin rash
  • hives
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • redness of the skin (sunburn)
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • itching
  • dark-colored urine
  • light-colored bowel movements
  • loss of appetite
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • extreme tiredness or weakness
  • confusion
  • decreased urination

As a Pollutant

Because humans and animals often do not fully metabolize pharmaceuticals in their body, they can excrete drugs or their breakdown products, which may the enter the environment.[8]

In Sewage Sludge

Doxycycline has been found in sewage sludge. In the Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey, a 2009 test of 84 samples of sewage sludge from around the U.S., the EPA found doxycycline in 76 samples (90%) in concentrations ranging from 50.8 to 5,090 parts per billion.[9] There are no federal regulations governing how much of this drug may be present in sewage sludge applied to land as fertilizer.

In Drinking Water

An Associated Press investigation found that, of 62 metropolitan areas in the U.S., only 28 tested for pharmaceuticals, and 24 found pharmaceuticals in the drinking water when they tested it.[10] Of those tested, Philadelphia tested positive for doxycycline (as well as 55 other drugs).[11]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Doxycycline: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  2. Doxycycline: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  3. Doxycycline Hyclate Oral: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  4. Doxycycline Hyclate Oral: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  5. Doxycycline: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  6. Doxycycline Hyclate Oral: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  7. Doxycycline: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  8. O.A.H. Jones, N. Voulvoulis, and J.N. Lester, Human Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Treatment Processes, Environmental Science and Technology, 2005.
  9. Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey Report, US EPA website, Accessed August 28, 2010.
  10. AN AP INVESTIGATION : Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water, Associated Press, Accessed September 3, 2010.
  11. Pharmawater-Metros-By-Results, Associated Press, Accessed September 3, 2010.

External resources

External articles