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4 Minutes Read

Is Doxycycline A Good STD Treatment?

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used to treat several sexually transmitted diseases. It is often the first or at least the second drug of choice for treating bacterial STDs.

Doxycycline is an excellent antibiotic clinically proven to be an effective treatment option for bacterial STDs. Some STDs in which doxycycline is used as a treatment option include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic, and it works by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis. Clinical trials have recently explored doxycycline's role as a preventative medicine in relation to STDs with promising results. 

While doxycycline is an effective drug for bacterial STDs, it is not without its due share of side effects. Moreover, increased bacterial resistance worldwide means that doxycycline, like other drugs, may have decreased efficacy in many situations where it was routinely used. 


In short, doxycycline is an excellent antibiotic that is effective in many bacterial STDs. The reason why this antibiotic is so useful is because of its several beneficial properties.

For starters, doxycycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. This means that doxycycline works against various microbes, which is always beneficial when causative organisms are not precisely identified. 

Doxycycline also has a long elimination half-life, which means it stays in the body longer than some other antibiotics. A longer elimination half-life translates into fewer daily doses, meaning that patients taking this drug have to put with fewer daily reminders to take their medicine. 

Another beneficial property of doxycycline is that it is almost completely absorbed through the gut. Studies show that almost 95% of the oral doxycycline dose is absorbed through the gut, making the dosage readily available in the blood.

Unlike other tetracycline drugs and other antibiotic classes, doxycycline is also relatively safe in patients with chronic kidney disease. This is because only a fraction of this drug is eliminated through the kidneys, reducing the load on dysfunctional kidneys in patients with kidney disease.

Doxycycline is usually an excellent treatment option for the following STDs:

  • Gonorrhea – a 7-day oral course of doxycycline coupled with a single intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone. 
  • Syphilis – 100mg oral dose bi-daily for at least 2 weeks
  • Chlamydia – 100mg bi-daily or 200mg once-daily dosage for 7 days
  • PID – doxycycline 100mg twice daily with metronidazole 500mg twice daily for 7 days


Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. Tetracycline antibiotics are classified as protein synthesis inhibitors. These antibiotics work by stopping bacteria from synthesizing essential proteins for their survival, thus, killing the bacteria in the process. 

Doxycycline typically starts working about 1-2 hours after ingestion. However, it may take a full day or two before you can observe any difference in your ongoing symptoms. 

A usual course of doxycycline lasts about a week or two. Most bacterial STDs susceptible to this antibiotic can be cured effectively within 2 weeks of use. 


While doxycycline is generally regarded as a relatively safe antibiotic, it is not without its fair share of side effects.

This antibiotic is generally well tolerated among children and adults. However, some users have reported drug-associated side effects with this drug. 

Esophageal erosion and photosensitivity are the biggest complaints with this drug. Many clinical trials have reported multiple gastrointestinal problems with this drug. Skin reactions are also common with the use of this antibiotic.

Gastrointestinal problems with the use of doxycycline include nausea, vomiting, esophageal erosion, diarrhea, anorexia, and even enterocolitis. Tetracycline antibiotics like doxycycline are also deposited in teeth, causing permanent brownish discoloration.

Skin reactions to this drug include dermatitis, rash, photosensitivity, and erythroderma. Immune reactions, such as anaphylaxis, are also frequently reported using doxycycline.


In addition to treating several STDs, the role of doxycycline in preventing STD has also been explored by several clinical trials. These research trials show that doxycycline is very effective in preventing STDs in people, both living with HIV and those taking PrEP, with high-risk exposures to STDs.

This study that explored STD prevention with doxycycline in men who have sex with other men and transgender women showed that doxycycline was very effective in STD prevention.

The study explored the newfound role of doxycycline in more than 500 participants. The approach that was examined was called doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis. Much like PEP, which is a post-exposure prophylaxis approach for HIV, doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis was so effective that the study was in fact closed early.

To qualify for this study, participants must have had exposure to either gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis, or all three. Participants were recruited from public health clinics from across United States, including from San Francisco and Seattle.

A similar study prior to the one mentioned above also showed a similar role of doxycycline in an open-label randomized control.


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