How to use Doxycycline for Sinus Infection: Everything to know 

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Sinus infections or sinusitis are commonplace in our society. In the U.S., around 28.9 million or 11.6% of adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly. Moreover, about 2.7 million Americans who visit the doctor are diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.

Drinking fluids, proper care, and over-the-counter medications are usually enough to treat mild sinus infections. However, doctors often prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline for sinus infections that do not improve after such measures.

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What is Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a generic prescription drug that falls under the tetracyclines group of antibiotics. The medication is prescribed for a wide variety of bacterial infections and diseases, such as:

  • Respiratory tract infections, including sinusitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections
  • Inflammatory skin conditions, like acne and rosacea
  • Cellulitis
  • Malaria
  • Anthrax and tularemia infections as part of a bioterror attack

Doxycycline is a common alternative to amoxicillin for patients who experience allergic reactions to penicillin-type antibiotics.

How To Take Doxycycline for Sinus Infection

You can get doxycycline in several dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, syrups, or suspensions. You can also be given as an injection or via intravenous therapy. In general, how doxycycline is taken depends on the condition or infection it aims to treat.

It is better to take doxycycline doses of at least 100 mg for sinus and other types of infections after meals. This helps patients lower the risk of an upset stomach or feeling sick due to antibiotics.

However, it is not advisable to take doxycycline simultaneously as dairy products. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy food or drink can adversely affect how our body absorbs doxycycline.

Therefore, make sure to space doxycycline doses a few hours before or after ingesting dairy products.

Precautions Before Starting Doxycycline

Doxycycline is known to cause allergies in some individuals. As a general precaution, patients are advised to inform their physicians regarding any past allergic reactions to food and medicines.

Those who have previously recorded allergic reactions to other tetracycline-type antibiotics should not take doxycycline.

Moreover, this antibiotic has several known drug interactions. Patients should notify their physicians about any medicines or supplements they may take to lessen the risk of adverse interactions.

Taking doxycycline may affect the effectiveness of birth control pills, particularly those that contain estrogen. Therefore, women should speak with their doctors about switching to alternative contraceptives before using doxycycline.

General Precautions While Taking Doxycycline

Doxycycline is known to cause increased photosensitivity or sun sensitivity. This can lead to severe sunburn, itching, and redness.

While undergoing doxycycline treatment, patients are advised to avoid staying out in the sun too long without proper protection for their skin. It is best to wear sunscreen daily and reapply it regularly while outdoors.

Patients are advised to take doxycycline while in an upright position. It is also best to avoid lying down for a minimum of 30 minutes after taking doxycycline. This helps reduce the likelihood of an upset stomach, irritating food pipe, or esophagus pain.

What Is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection is also called sinusitis. It affects the lining of the sinuses, which are four paired cavities in the head. These cavities are found near the nose: one pair below the eyes and the other in the brow area.

Sinusitis causes the tissue lining in these areas to become inflamed or swollen.

Symptoms and Causes

Bacterial sinusitis happens when the sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid. This leads to bacterial growth and infection.

These infections commonly occur after a bout of a common cold or a seasonal allergy flare-up, as these cause blocked or clogged sinuses.

Other conditions are:

  • Nose injuries
  • Tooth infections
  • Polyps or growths
  • Deviated septum
  • Enlarged adenoids
  • Weak immune system
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Objects stuck in the nose

Common signs and symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Runny nose, stuffy nose, or nasal discharge
  • Post nasal drip or mucus dripping down the throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Facial pressure or swelling around the eyes
  • Pain in the teeth or ears
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Sore throat

Sinusitis symptoms for children are often milder and limited to a weeklong runny nose, coughing, and swelling around the eyes. Coughs seldom occur in the mornings for children and are more common at night.

Basics of Doxycycline for Sinus Infection

Doxycycline works by stopping the growth and spread of bacteria. Killing the bacterial growth helps reduce inflammation and treat the infection.

This antibiotic is generally safe for most people. However, patients who fall into the following categories are prohibited from taking doxycycline for sinus infections:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are nursing
  • Children below eight years old
  • People with a history of allergies to tetracycline-type antibiotics

Doxycycline has known drug interactions. Among these are penicillin and isotretinoin or tretinoin.

people who should not take doxycycline for sinus infection

Using these drugs with doxycycline may affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of other illnesses.

The medication also interacts with other drugs and supplements. Taking the following supplements may adversely affect how well doxycycline treats infections.

  • Antacids, especially those containing calcium, magnesium, and iron
  • Barbiturates
  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin

Doxycycline Dosage for Sinus Infection

The recommended adult dosage for doxycycline for sinus infection is 100 mg taken orally twice a day or 200 mg once a day. The dosage is adjusted based on the weight and age of the children.

Some physicians may prescribe a loading dose of 200 mg on the first day of treatment, either as one dose or in two doses across a 12-hour interval.

For the following days of treatment, patients take 100 mg of doxycycline per day.

Severe sinus infections may require a daily dosage of 200 mg throughout the prescribed treatment period.

Overdosing or Skipping Doxycycline Dosage

Skipping doxycycline dosages can significantly affect the treatment’s effectiveness. Suppose you missed a dose; it is best to take it immediately upon remembering.

However, if it is not far from the next scheduled dose, it is best to wait instead and take only one dose.

Avoid trying to catch up on a missed doxycycline dosage by taking two doses at once. Doing so may result in overdosing.

Although there have not been any recorded fatalities due to overdosing on doxycycline, it can still cause severe repercussions for patients’ health.

A doxycycline overdose may lead to the development of antibiotic resistance to the medication. This will make it harder to treat sinus infections and other infections in the future.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.