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Doxycycline Experience Log

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#1 Norvegicus

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:57 PM

Hello Everyone,

I'm Norvegicus. Please allow me to introduce myself and share pertinent details:

Gender: Male
Age: 25 years
Acne since: 14 years old (11 years of acne)
Occupation: Software engineer
Skin type: Oily
Acne location: Face, neck, back, upper arms

I have had acne for about 11 years, continuously. In that time, I have tried a lot of treatments. Some of them have worked, and as a result my acne has fluctuated from mild to moderate to severe over the years. At its worst, I have had severe nodulocystic acne on my cheeks, forehead, and temples. At those times, doctors urged me to try Accutane (oral isotretinoin). At its best, I have had almost clear skin, just a few small pimples and mild to moderate scars.

Treatments I have tried: (All are topical) Differin (adapalene), clindamycin, erythromycin, benzoyl peroxide wash and gel, sulfur, salicylic acid, Retin-A Micro (tretinoin microspheres).

2012-04-02: I started oral acne medication for the first time in my life. Specifically, I started doxycycline, 40 mg/day. I had never tried oral acne treatments before because I was scared of the side effects, and because I knew I could control my acne pretty well with topical treatments so long as I remained compliant. But after 11 years of trying, I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot remain compliant on topical treatments. I cannot religiously apply benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, and adapalene every day, as three separate creams, and that seems to be what is required. I need something simpler: a pill. I will continue using my three topical mainstays as often as I can, but I will now add oral doxycycline.

Status: Moderate acne on face, neck, and back. My forehead is especially bad right now.

2012-04-07: 5 days into doxycycline, and I already see noticeable improvement. I am very happy. I have increased my dose to 80 mg/day, because I was tolerating 40 mg/day well. I am hoping the higher dose will give better results.

Status: Acne slightly improved. Inflammation has gone down, so a lot of spots that were big, red, and angry 5 days ago are now more subdued. I have fewer new pimples than usual, but I still have a couple new pimples. I have one painful new zit on my right chin.

I am going to apply clindamycin gel now. I only bother applying it to my face, hopefully the oral doxycycline will take care of my back. I will report back later.

Wish me luck.

#2 pugrocker

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:12 PM

I started 200mg a day of Doxy for the 2nd time Wednesday March 28, 2012 and its working great. Good luck to ya man! Just to let ya know, when I took it a year ago, it worked great, but once I stopped I broke out with a vengeance. Not saying that will happen, but just warning ya.

#3 Norvegicus

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 10:30 AM

I explored these forums but could not find any other reports of low-dose doxycycline use. 40 mg/day dosing has been proven effective by double blind trials, it is interesting that I would be the first acne.org user to talk about it. However, I have never seen a head-to-head trial comparing 40 mg/day dosing with a higher dose, say 100 mg/day or 200 mg/day, so there is no evidence about the relative efficacy.

That said, I asked my doctor to double my dose to 80 mg/day, so if he says yes, even I won't be on low dose doxycycline. Then there really will be zero reports of low dose doxycycline on these forums.

#4 Norvegicus

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

2012-04-10: 8 days into doxycycline, and it is surprisingly effective. My back hasn't looked this good in years, maybe even a decade. Why? Because I never had the discipline to apply creams or gels on my back, so the doxycycline pills are the first treatment that has ever reached my back. My face looks better than before doxycycline, but it has looked even better in the past.

Big problem: I think doxycycline causes nausea for me. It is somewhat confusing, because I am also under a lot of stress at work, and that could also cause nausea. Also, the nausea doesn't start 15 to 60 minutes after swallowing the doxycycline (as I would expect), and it doesn't end a few hours later. No, the nausea seems to come and go at any time of day, especially after meals. I have been taking a 20 mg tablet every 6 hours, roughly. I took an 18 hour break from doxycycline, and by the end of the break my stomach felt better than it had in days. I think I may take a 2 day break from doxycycline to investigate how strong the correlation is with my nausea.

I really hope I can find a way to tolerate this medicine, because it is quite effective.

Or maybe I can tolerate minocycline.

#5 Norvegicus

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:46 AM

2012-04-16: 14 days into doxycycline. In the first 5 days, I saw very rapid and dramatic improvement. Since then, the speed of improvement has declined substantially. I think I am still making slow and steady progress. At least I hope I am.

I am still having trouble with nausea, but I think I am learning how to mitigate it. Taking 60 mg/day seems to be more tolerable, 80 or 100 mg/day is too much. It is also important to spread out the doses. 40 mg all at once will upset my stomach, so I try to take 20 mg every 8 hours. I think it is also important to take the doxycycline with a meal or large snack, perhaps that dilutes it in my stomach. I think it is also important to not eat peanuts - I normally tolerate peanuts, but lately they have been upsetting my stomach.

Really, I have no idea what I am talking about. Doxycycline is clearly causing nausea, and I have reduced it somewhat, but many of my countermeasures are probably just superstition. Unfortunately, 14 days isn't long enough to do good science, and quantifying nausea is hard.

Wish me luck.

#6 PatrickParker

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:17 PM

From what I understand you are supposed to take doxy either 3 hours after or at least 1 hour before meals. And you should also avoid taking vitamins within 2 hours of taking the antibiotic. There is a faq available on this site's message board. Might also be a good idea to take a probiotic to counter balance the doxy. Good luck! Just started using my girlfriend's clindamycin phosphate lotion to spot treat and I love it. Almost instantly takes the fight out of an angry zit.

#7 Norvegicus

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:17 PM

2012-04-21: 19 days into doxycycline. It is quite effective, but I am still having problems with nausea. I think I have gotten better at avoiding the nausea, but it still happens sometimes. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking doxycycline immediately before a meal or large snack.

In response to PatrickParker: Many sources do say that you should not take tetracycline antibiotics at the same time as a meal, or with dairy, or with antacids, but I don't trust those sources at all. First, there is no science behind these recommendations, especially with respect to doxycycline. Sometimes recommendations just materialize, because they were true for a different class of antibiotic, or because someone felt they had anecdotal evidence to support the advice. Actual pharmacokinetic studies (i.e. real science) says that doxycycline absorption is at least 95%. Now, the dairy and antacid interaction may be somewhat valid, the theory is that doxycycline chelates calcium ions and forms an insoluble and unabsorbable complex, however this is a totally in vitro finding (from test tubes) and may not be valid in the human gut, and it is also a finding that only applied to tetracycline itself, and does not necessarily apply to doxycycline, minocycline, or any of the related but different antibiotics. Still, I don't plan to take antacids. Second, even if doxycycline were better absorbed on an empty stomach, I don't care because I cannot tolerate it. I do not want to be nauseous all day, so I am not going to take doxycycline on an empty stomach. If the drug doesn't work as a result, then I will have to try minocycline, or a different class of antibiotics, but it seems to be working.

Yesterday, I made a pledge to stop picking at my face and back. So far, so good. It is very difficult to stop myself from picking. I have managed to go a few days in the past with no picking, but I always restart because I have so many fresh pimples. The onslaught of new pimples usually dwarfs the benefits of not picking. Now that doxycycline is reducing the number of new pimples, picking is the largest cause of blemishes on my face and back. If I can stop picking, and if doxycycline keeps working, then I may actually get reasonably clear skin.

Wish me luck.

#8 Norvegicus

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:04 PM

2012-04-30: 28 days into doxycycline. My acne has decreased dramatically, however, doxycycline is not 100% effective. I do still have active, recent, and inflamed pimples - but the number is severely reduced. However, the nausea is intolerable.

I have decided to switch to minocycline, in the hopes that will relieve the nausea while maintaining efficacy. If the minocycline also makes me nauseous, then I don't know what I will do. Maybe tetracycline, maybe Bactrim, or maybe I will give up on oral antibiotics.

I really hope the minocycline doesn't make me so nauseous.

#9 Norvegicus

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:36 AM

2012-06-08: More than two months into doxycycline. I am at 20 mg twice a day (40 mg per day total), and it is strikingly effective. I still have a little acne, but the spots are far less common and less inflamed.

I never switched to minocycline. My doxycycline-related nausea seems to have dissipated, which is marvelous. I am tolerating doxycycline at the moment, and I hope it stays that way.

Before doxycycline, I had acne all over my face and neck. After a month or two of doxycycline, the acne was much improved on my cheeks, chin, and neck, but it was still bad on my forehead. I decided that this was probably due to my bangs, which reached down to my eyebrows. I had actually chosen bangs to cover my acne. Last weekend, I had my bangs chopped off. I hope my forehead improves.

#10 arg1218

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:01 PM

i just started on 100 mg once daily of doxycycline and i agree with you on the upset stomach ! no matter what i do, when or how i eat for some reason i get really sick to my stomach. almost to the point of actually throwing up, and this will only be my 3rd day ! im hoping i get adjusted and it starts to subside. im glad to hear that its working for you, gives you a new confidence, doesnt it ? i can already see a difference, call me crazy. i hope things keep working for you !

#11 Norvegicus

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

2012-07-12: I have been on doxycycline for 101 days now. I think it reduces my acne by about 75%, but I definitely still get some pimples. My stomach upset has basically resolved, I think my body got used to the drug and/or my intestines have been recolonized by doxycycline-resistant bacteria.

Reply to arg1218: Hang in there, my upset stomach seemed to get better on its own with time. The fact that I reduced my dose to 40 mg/day probably also helped, but it may make the drug less effective. Also, I definitely saw positive effects within 3 days, doxycycline works fast! The most immediate and dramatic effect was that the inflamed spot quieted down, got less red and less raised, and smaller. Doxycycline is a powerful antiinflammatory, not just an antibiotic.

#12 crispyduck

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:58 AM

Hey Norvegicus im glad that your acne has improved by 75%, thatis a great result! I see that your last post was in July of 2012. I would like to ask you if your acne came back upon discontinuing use of docycycline. How are you doing now?



#13 ashleytrotti

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:48 PM

I have figured out how to get rid of the nausea and upset stomach that is caused by this drug.  I start out by eating a very small snack in the morning before taking the doxycycline.  I eat crackers or a banana....something bland, easy to digest, non-acidic and dairy free.   I drink gingerale until I eat my first big meal of the day, which is usually an hour after I take my pill.  I take a heavy dose of probiotics with each meal I eat.  I buy the high quality probiotics that have at least 3 billion cells in each capsule and that have to be refridgerated, and I swallow 5-6 of them while i'm eating.  It replaces all the good bacteria in the digestive system that the doxycycline kills.  If I don't take the probiotics at least twice a day, I'll get painfully bloated, nausea, and diarrhea. 

 

Seriously...TAKE PROBIOTICS!!!  Yogurt isn't enough.  Drop at least $20 on a bottle of good probiotics and it will help...espeically if you plan on taking the doxycycline for a long period of time.   It's harmful to your stomach to constantly strip the bacteria away without replenishing it. 



#14 ashleytrotti

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:49 PM

2012-04-10: 8 days into doxycycline, and it is surprisingly effective. My back hasn't looked this good in years, maybe even a decade. Why? Because I never had the discipline to apply creams or gels on my back, so the doxycycline pills are the first treatment that has ever reached my back. My face looks better than before doxycycline, but it has looked even better in the past.

Big problem: I think doxycycline causes nausea for me. It is somewhat confusing, because I am also under a lot of stress at work, and that could also cause nausea. Also, the nausea doesn't start 15 to 60 minutes after swallowing the doxycycline (as I would expect), and it doesn't end a few hours later. No, the nausea seems to come and go at any time of day, especially after meals. I have been taking a 20 mg tablet every 6 hours, roughly. I took an 18 hour break from doxycycline, and by the end of the break my stomach felt better than it had in days. I think I may take a 2 day break from doxycycline to investigate how strong the correlation is with my nausea.

I really hope I can find a way to tolerate this medicine, because it is quite effective.

Or maybe I can tolerate minocycline.

take a heavy amount of probiotics with your food.  get the expensive kind that has to be refridgerated, and take 5-6 with each meal. 



#15 ashleytrotti

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:52 PM

i just started on 100 mg once daily of doxycycline and i agree with you on the upset stomach ! no matter what i do, when or how i eat for some reason i get really sick to my stomach. almost to the point of actually throwing up, and this will only be my 3rd day ! im hoping i get adjusted and it starts to subside. im glad to hear that its working for you, gives you a new confidence, doesnt it ? i can already see a difference, call me crazy. i hope things keep working for you !

Take probiotics with your meals.  I buy the expensive kind that has to be refridgerated ($20 per bottle) and take 5-6 of them with each meal and I don't get sick anymore.  Plus, I wake up and eat a banana or some crackers right before I take the doxycycline, and drink ginger ale.  It totally helps. 






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