WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Parasitic Diseases - Second Edition
(1995; 152 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
Close this folderProtozoa
Open this folder and view contentsAmoebiasis and giardiasis
View the documentBabesiosis
View the documentFree-living amoebae
Open this folder and view contentsLeishmaniasis
Close this folderMalaria
View the documentChloroquine
View the documentQuinine
View the documentPyrimethamine/sulfadoxine
View the documentPrimaquine
View the documentMefloquine
View the documentHalofantrine
View the documentTetracycline
View the documentDoxycycline
View the documentProguanil
View the documentArtemether
View the documentArtesunate
View the documentArtemisinin
View the documentMiscellaneous intestinal infection
Open this folder and view contentsPneumocystosis
Open this folder and view contentsToxoplasmosis
Open this folder and view contentsTrichomoniasis
Open this folder and view contentsAfrican trypanosomiasis
Open this folder and view contentsAmerican trypanosomiasis
Open this folder and view contentsHelminths
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack cover


Group: antimicrobial agent
Capsule or tablet 100 mg (as hyclate)

General information

Doxycycline is derived from and closely related to oxytetracycline, and has an identical spectrum of activity. It differs from the tetracyclines in that it is more extensively absorbed and more lipid-soluble, and it possesses a longer serum half-life that is independent of the patient’s renal status.

Clinical information


Short-term prophylaxis of multiple-drug-resistant falciparum malaria. Because of limited experience, doxycycline should be used for prophylaxis only by persons who cannot tolerate mefloquine or who visit areas where mefloquine is no longer effective.

Dosage and administration

Adults: 100 mg daily for up to 8 weeks.

Children over 8 years: 1.5 mg/kg daily for up to 8 weeks.

Prophylaxis should be started 1 day before exposure and continued for 4 weeks after the last risk of exposure.


• Known hypersensitivity.

• Age under 8 years, since skeletal deposition can result in retardation of bone growth, hypoplasia of dental enamel and permanent brown discoloration of teeth.

• Pregnancy.


Oesophageal ulceration may be averted if the patient sits or stands up for a few minutes while the tablets are swallowed, and if they are always washed down immediately with a glass of water.

Other symptoms of gastrointestinal irritability can be reduced if doxycycline is taken with a meal, but milk products must be avoided since they reduce absorption.

Use in pregnancy

Doxycycline is generally contra-indicated in pregnancy. It impairs skeletal calcification in the fetus and can result in abnormal osteogenesis and hypoplasia of dental enamel.

Adverse effects

Gastrointestinal irritation is common and phototoxic reactions and increased vulnerability to sunburn have been reported.

Transient depression of bone growth is largely reversible, but discoloration of teeth and enamel hypoplasia are permanent.

Drug interactions

The action of oral anticoagulants may be potentiated. Severe renal failure has been reported in patients who have received a halogenated anaesthetic agent while taking doxycycline.


Capsules and tablets should be kept in well-closed containers, protected from light.

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