Zinc is a mineral that is essential for the function of the body. However, zinc supplements can interfere with the effects of different medications, including some antibiotics, by reducing their absorption. Although zinc does not appear to interfere with the activity of doxycycline, you should still talk to your doctor about all minerals that you take if you are prescribed an antibiotic.
Why Take Zinc?
Zinc is a mineral that is needed in small quantities for your body to function properly. Zinc has many roles in the body, including aiding in cell division, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, wound healing and the immune system. You may take zinc supplements to boost your immune system and to help you fight off infection. Zinc can also be found in some antacids that are used to fight indigestion and heartburn.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is related to tetracycline, another antibiotic. Doxycycline treats many bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, gum disease, chlamydia and bacteria that trigger acne. Doxycycline can interact with different medications, including birth control, and make them less effective. Drugs.com recommends that people taking doxycycline avoid using this medication along with zinc supplements, due to the potential for zinc to interact with this drug.
Zinc and Doxycycline
One of the reasons why doctors often advise against taking zinc with antibiotics is that zinc can inhibit the absorption of many antibiotics. However, the recommendation against taking zinc with doxycycline may be due to zinc's reputation as a mineral that affects antibiotic effectiveness, but a study published in a 1975 issue of the "European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology" found that zinc supplements did not significantly inhibit the absorption of doxycycline.
Tell your doctor about any mineral or vitamin supplements that you are taking, particularly if your doctor prescribes a new medication for you. The benefits of zinc supplements for infections are controversial, and it is important to not impair the effectiveness of antibiotics and other medications that you take. Check with your doctor before starting or stopping a supplement.