3 Surprising Facts About Combining Doxycycline and Alcohol

Adhering to the guidelines for your prescribed medications is essential for effective treatment. However, a lot of patients are not aware of the adverse effects of the interaction of alcohol with substances like doxycycline, an antibiotic that many doctors prescribe.

Taking doxycycline in combination with alcohol might have some unexpected side effects and reduce the effectiveness of the drug. This article focuses on three facts you should know about mixing doxycycline and alcohol and the reasons why you should not drink alcohol when taking this medicine.

1. Reduced Effectiveness

Doxycycline is an antibiotic commonly prescribed for treating many bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and skin infections. It works by hindering the growth of bacteria. However, when you combine doxycycline with alcohol, your body’s ability to process the drug is compromised, hence weakening its effectiveness.

Alcohol is metabolized by the liver enzymes, which also metabolize many drugs, including doxycycline. By taking alcohol while under doxycycline, the enzymes in your liver will be busy metabolizing the alcohol rather than doxycycline. Therefore, the levels of doxycycline in your blood may be lower than they should be, which means that it may not be effective in killing the bacteria causing your infection.

2. Increased Side Effects

The use of doxycycline and alcohol can also increase the occurrence of certain side effects. Both doxycycline and alcohol can produce irritation in the lining of your stomach and intestines, which might manifest as stomach upsets, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When you combine them, the impacts are greater and more prolonged than if you were to take doxycycline alone.

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Also, taking doxycycline with alcohol can increase the risk of gastrointestinal effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headache. These symptoms may worsen your feeling of illness and general discomfort, thus complicating your recovery from the infection.

3. Delayed Healing

Mixing doxycycline with alcohol slows down the healing process. Alcohol is a depressant to the central nervous system, so that it can slow down the natural processes of the body, including the immune system’s response. Taking alcohol along with doxycycline can disrupt the normal healing process and, hence, prolong the recovery time.

Mixing doxycycline with alcohol delays the healing process and increases the chances of occurrence of other complications. If your body cannot fight off the bacteria responsible for the disease, it can spread and become more dangerous. Mixing doxycycline and alcohol could result in sepsis, a severe illness that develops when the body’s inflammatory reaction to infection spreads throughout the entire body.


Even if you may feel like taking alcohol while on the doxycycline treatment, it is best to avoid it until you complete your medication; not only will the alcohol reduce the effectiveness of the medication, but it will also increase the likelihood of side effects and slow your recovery process. Consult your doctor if you have questions about taking doxycycline or if it is safe to drink alcohol while you are on the medication. They can offer you personalized advice by considering your case.