can you eat food with doxycycline

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat food with doxycycline?” We will also discuss the do’s and don’ts to do when using doxycycline and when it is recommended to take a doxycycline treatment. 

Can you eat food with doxycycline?

Yes, you can, but it may affect the effect of doxycycline, which is an antibiotic commonly used when treating bacterial infections, in order to stop bacterial growth. Although It is advisable to continue a normal diet while consuming this medicine, when you take it,  it is better to do it with only a full glass of water.

It is believed that consuming dairy products when having a doxycycline treatment can reduce its efficiency, but this subject will be further explained below.

What is doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a prescribed antibiotic, it is part of the known tetracycline antibiotics. Its function is to prevent the spreading and growth of bacteria responsible for infections, such as acne, rosacea, or infections that affect the lymphatic, intestinal, or urinary systems. 

It has been reported its usage for anthrax exposure, this kind of infection is spread as a bioterror attack. Malaria prevention also relies on doxycycline treatment.

When is it recommended to take doxycycline?

It is important that you go visit a doctor before starting a doxycycline treatment and to attend to the dosage and recommendations that he gave you. You should not take doxycycline longer than prescribed either. If you do not attend these previous recommendations it is possible that you experience side effects.

The following conditions may need the use of doxycycline:

  • Intestinal infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Skin infections
  • Flea and tick bites
  • Gum infections

It is possible to get doxycycline in different presentations such as tablets, capsules, or in a liquid form. It is also feasible to get delayed-release tablets and capsules.

Does doxycycline work for viral infections?

Although tetracyclines can provide antiviral and anti-inflammatory responses, it is not recommended to rely on antibiotics, like doxycycline, to treat them. So, the usage of this antibiotic to treat common colds or flu is definitely not advisable.

In fact, antibiotics should only be used when needed and prescribed, if you consume any kind of antibiotics without a medical prescription and an appropriate dosage, the risk of getting an infection resistant to antibiotics is very high and definitely undesirable!

How should doxycycline be used?

Whatever its presentation is – capsule, tablet, liquid -, doxycycline is usually prescribed once or twice a day, depending on the dose indicated. Depending on the sensibility of your stomach, you may take it with water, milk, or even with food.

It is desirable to talk to your doctor about the best way for you to consume doxycycline, and that you follow all the medical recommendations. Do not increase or lower your prescribed dose. 

What to expect if you consume dairy with doxycycline?

Due to their richness in calcium, dairy products may interfere with the proper absorption of doxycycline if consumed while you are in a doxycycline treatment. Calcium reacts with this antibiotic and forms a new chemical product: a chelate, which hampers the doxycycline absorption.

This effect can also occur with foods or supplements rich in calcium, magnesium, or iron. The chelation mechanism will be further explained in the next paragraph. If you want to know about this mechanism, click here.

What is chelation and how does it affect doxycycline?

Chelation is a type of binding among ions and molecules to metal ions. Doxycycline is part of the group of tetracyclines with iron-chelating activity. This means that when in an iron-rich environment, doxycycline may lose its effectiveness against bacterial infections.

You do not have to say goodbye to dairy products or iron supplements, but it would be better that you take them at least more than two hours before you take your dose of doxycycline.  

What are the side effects of doxycycline?

Doxycycline treatment can cause different side effects to your body, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in the color of skin, scars, nails, or mouth 

It is important that you tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or simply do not go away.

Can children use doxycycline?

The FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) has advised the population to avoid the use of tetracycline antibiotics in children younger than eight years old because it can be responsible for tooth staining.  

You can learn more about this subject here.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the answer to the question “can you eat food with doxycycline?” We have also discussed how certain foods can affect the correct functioning of this antibiotic as well as other queries related to the subject at hand.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.