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Vibramycin (doxycycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic which has seen widespread use around the globe since its introduction in the 1960s. It continues to be a standard treatment as both an antibiotic and a preventive measure against certain types of infection.
The medication is generally considered safe in patients over 8 years of age. Children under 8 are at risk of bone or tooth defects; it is only used in these patients in very rare circumstances. Similarly, it should not be used while pregnant as there is a significant risk of birth defects. It is unlikely to harm nursing infants, but most doctors advise against use in nursing mothers to be on the safe side.
When to Use Vibramycin
Like all antibiotics, Vibramycin is most effective against certain types of bacteria, which can typically only be identified by a doctor. Unfortunately there are some strains of resistant bacteria, which should also be taken into consideration. It is, however, still very effective at treating a wide range of infections; a partial list includes:
Vibramycin may be prescribed in many other conditions in addition to those listed above. It is also very often used when penicillin is not an option, due to unavailability, allergies, or other factors. Inability to use penicillin is one of the few instances in which Vibramycin is used in patients under 8 years of age; the other predominant exception is in treating Rocky Mountain spotted fever, for which Vibramycin is one of the most effective treatments available.
The medication is also used as a preventive treatment to keep patients from contracting anthrax, leptospirosis and malaria when exposure is likely. Again there is some resistance to Vibramycin in some areas; individuals traveling to areas where exposure is likely should check with local health authorities to ensure Vibramycin is still a viable treatment. In all cases additional measures should also be utilized to the fullest extent possible, such as use of mosquito netting.
Dosage & Administration
For treating existing infections dosage can vary to some extent according to individual factors such as age, weight, overall health, and so forth, but to a large extent, in otherwise healthy adults, dosage is determined by the severity of the infection:
Vibramycin use is a little more varied as a preventive treatment:
To maximize presence of the drug in the body, doses should be taken at the same time each day. A full glass of water should be consumed after each dose to prevent throat irritation.
Food is optional, but Vibramycin should be taken at least 2 hours before or after consuming aluminum, zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, or bismuth subsalicylate; these products will interfere with absorption and reduce effectiveness. Eating bland foods that do not contain the above products may help ease gastrointestinal side effects.
No current Rx required
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.