Adverse effects

The most common adverse effects are gastrointestinal in nature. It is recommended that doxycycline be taken with water whilst standing or sitting to minimise oesophageal ulceration. Tetracyclines are deposited in growing bones and teeth, sometimes causing staining or affecting development. For this reason they are not recommended in pregnancy or lactation or in growing children. Phototoxicity (causing sunburn-type symptoms) has been reported in patients on tetracyclines. Patients should be advised to stay out of the sun or to use sunblock whilst on the drug, and to avoid sunbeds too. Rare adverse effects include blood dyscrasias, hepatotoxicity and discoloration of teeth under long-term treatment.

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