Does Alcohol Affect Doxycycline?

Mixing alcohol with the antibiotic doxycyline has the potential to decrease the effectiveness of the drug, which can lead to suboptimal treatment of the infection it was prescribed to treat.

Drinking alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of doxycycline. (Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

Think, don't drink

Regular alcohol consumption has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of doxycycline, a commonly prescribed antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of infections. In regular drinkers, doxycycline does not maintain its therapeutic drug levels in the bloodstream as long as in non-drinkers. In other words, the concentration of drug is not as high as it should be for as long as it should be. This is because alcohol revs up production of certain enzymes by the liver which breakdown doxycyline and cause it to be eliminated from the body quicker than usual. The end results is that less than optimal amounts of doxycycline are available to fight the infection as effectively as desired, which could result in suboptimal treatment of the infection.

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