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Thread: How Long Can I Take Low Dose Doxy?

  1. #1
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    How Long Can I Take Low Dose Doxy?

    Before I get to my question, I want to say thanks to everyone for sharing information. Iíve been reading this board for the past 3 years and your posts have helped me feel a) not so alone in this and b) more educated. Iíve gone through a number of doctors and have finally found two I like Ė a therapeutic optometrist and my dermatologist.

    Hot rags and fish oil werenít enough to fix the gritty, dirty, sandy, swelling feeling in my eyes so I was relieved when my dermatologist diagnosed it as ocular rosacea and wrote a prescription for a yearís worth of low dose doxy. I take 20 mg two times a day and have been for the past 6 months. While I still get a swelling feeling in one eye that correlates with my monthly cycle, the itchy, foreign body sensations and gritty feelings are much better thanks to the doxy softening things up.

    My concern is being on 40 mg a day of doxy long-term. As mentioned, Iíve been on it almost 6 months and while itís helped me immensely, I worry about taking medication and wonder about the safety. Both of my doctors think I should stick with the doxy, but theyíve both been rather vague about just how long I need to be on it -- probably because they donít know. I worry I will need it forever and if thatís the case, has anyone been on doxy long term or are there any doctors out there who can vouch for the safety? At some point, Iím going to need to go off of the doxy and Iíve been trying to increase my fish oil so that I can wean myself off. But really, Iím scared. There was a period where my blepharitis was so bad I just wanted to poke my eyes out. Should I just hang in there, stay on it and maybe get some sort of blood work to determine that my liver is okay? 40 mg is not very much, but with any medicine there are concerns about long-term safety.

    By the way, since I started the medicine I've had absolutely zero side effects.

  2. #2
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    Out of all the drugs out there that people have to take long term, doxy is one of the ones that is less "scary" to me. Granted, there was some publicity a while back about a possible connection between long term use of oral tetracyclines and increased breast cancer risk... but my understanding is that there is currently not enough evidence that there is truly a cause and effect relationship between the two. There are never any guarantees of course, but based on what is currently known for SURE about long term doxy, and knowing just how brutal our eyes can be when not adequately treated, I'd say to stick with it if it helps your eyes. Perhaps you could discuss with your doctors the possibility of trying to go off it every few months to see what happens... if your bleph gets worse, then at least you'll know the doxy is still doing something and that's it's worth taking...

    One good thing at least is that at the dose you're on, it is only an anti-inflammatory and has no antibiotic effect... so at least you don't have to worry about the development of antibiotic resistance on your particular dose. Another important point in favour of your sticking with the doxy is the fact that you are tolerating it well.

    And as to your question of whether or not any of us have been on it long term, I've been on oral tetracyclines for a little over a year now... tried going off it last January, but within a couple of weeks my eyes were already getting worse (everything else in my life was the same)... went back on the oral tetracycline and things got better again... Eventually, I'll try going off it again to see what happens... or maybe try a lower dose like what you are on... but for now, I'm sticking with my 100mg/day of doxy.
    Last edited by SAAG; 28-Nov-2010 at 23:43.
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  3. #3
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    S, thanks for the reply! Your words are similar to what the rational voice in my head starts saying when I lie awake worrying about what the doxycycline could potentially be doing to my body. While I may not like the idea of long term medication, the alternative is much, much, worse. I'm just hoping increasing the fish oil and maybe slowly stopping doxycycline is an option at some point. But I don't see the blepharitis/rosacea ever going away.

    I'll talk to the doctor about taking doxy breaks. My doctor only prescribed a year's worth, so maybe her intention was to re-visit the break idea after a year.

  4. #4
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    Just saw this post and wanted to add something...

    I've been taking 50mg of doxycycline twice a day for about 3 years now for a skin condition.

    My dermatologist said he had been taking it for many years.

    I was concerned about antibody resistance with long term antibiotic use as well. My dermatologist said it's not as much of an issue on a low dose antibiotic and that the resistance begins building when you start and stop it frequently.

    Hope that helps some!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
    S, thanks for the reply! Your words are similar to what the rational voice in my head starts saying when I lie awake worrying about what the doxycycline could potentially be doing to my body. While I may not like the idea of long term medication, the alternative is much, much, worse. I'm just hoping increasing the fish oil and maybe slowly stopping doxycycline is an option at some point. But I don't see the blepharitis/rosacea ever going away.

    I'll talk to the doctor about taking doxy breaks. My doctor only prescribed a year's worth, so maybe her intention was to re-visit the break idea after a year.
    You may be interested to read about a study that showed Flaxseed oil was as affective as antibiotics in the treatment of inflammatory eye conditions.
    http://www.dryeyesyndrome.net/herbal...y-eye-syndrome

  6. #6
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    Hiwaygal,

    Thanks! I wonder how much stopping and starting you have to do to build resistance. I stopped taking it about a week ago thinking I would wean myself off of it and use fish oil and flax. After about a week off the doxy, my eyes are burning lightly -- they're not as bad as they were before I started doxy and I'm not having foreign body sensations, so maybe the 6 months of taking doxy helped.

    C, thanks for the reminder on flax studies. I try to follow all the flax and fish oil studies and am currently taking the Theratears branded fish oil. People say it's helped them as much as doxy, so we'll see. I've only been on it steadily for 6 weeks.

    If the burning continues then I'll re-start the doxy and stay on it indefinitely. Even on the doxy, I had some slight burning issues mid-cyle, so it might just be correlating with that.

    Thanks again for the support and advice.

  7. #7
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    Wink Help

    Omg You Guys Just Answered My Question I Just Started On Doxy 100mg One A Day Was Wondering If It Really Worked And If It Is Safe

  8. #8
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    Me too

    Hi, I'm so glad to find this thread! The most recent DE Bulletin has me re-evaluating my treatment. I go to University of Illinois Eye Clinic which is so famous for its dry eye care, but they haven't ever explained anything at all to me and are amazed by the things I get from the Dry Eye Store here (like the onion goggles, and even my Wiley X sunglasses, they've never heard of such a thing--but they didn't write down where to get them in Chicago, either--tsh tsh!--and I've never heard a diagnosis from them) I've been on doxy 50 mg twice daily for about two years now and have not had any bad side effects. Also take flaxseed and notice the difference if I go off it. Perhaps the doxy and the flaxseed oil are for two different things? U of I has rather hinted that I'll be on doxy for the rest of my life.

    Here's something to think about: first, the uptake of this kind of drug is affected by food. Apparently everything interferes, especially dairy, but also vitamins (they don't specify which ones!! and I take supplements several times a day!). I finally have gotten to the point of taking them at night. They're not spread out twelve hours that way and I am heartened by the person taking doxy 100 units only once a day. By the way, dairy apparently interferes with the uptake of lots of drugs, so be wary when a doctor recommends taking anything with a glass of milk!

    Second, although I had to remind the clinic of it, you have to use sun screen with doxy, or have burning and skin discoloration. That makes summer really a problem! Plus, I'm deficient in Vitamin D anyway. So if taking doxy, you need the blood test to see if you're deficient, and then take a replacement vitamin but being careful, since they recently revised the limits (actually, I haven't checked with my doc yet--I may be taking too much D). My doctor and I discussed it last summer, and she wasn't sure why the clinic was having me take doxy for so long, so she recommended I ask if I could go off for the summer, and then resume in the fall, which they approved without even thinking about the issue this thread raised, of greater likelihood of becoming immune to it. I did not suffer any greater symptoms off it--but it was the summer, when there's plenty of humidity (in Chicago at least!).

    I don't know what my point was except to share those two things. I sure don't like being on an antibiotic for so long, especially without knowing why. I've resolved to get some answers from the U of I clinic at my next visit, or die trying. The thing is, you get an intern first, and then Dr. Jain comes in, and by the time you go through the pleasantries with the first person, and ask the questions, then Dr. Jain comes in and you repeat the pleasantries, and the questions get dropped--questions like, what exactly do I have? And what are my scores on the tests that yield that diagnosis? And what exactly should I be doing? (warm compresses and eye drops are their only recommendations in the two years I've been going there. The humidifier, the googles, come from here.)

    By the way, a warm compress trick I just learned: boil an egg, wrap it in a wet cloth, apply. It stays hot for ever so long. Be careful, of course, of course.

    If anyone reads this who knows a better alternative to care in the Chicago area, I'd sure like to hear it. Besides my own continuing confusion under their care, I almost always come out upset over their treatment of one or another other person in the waiting room, or over the hours of waiting time, regardless of one's appointment. You have to come prepared to spend the day, almost.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
    Hiwaygal,

    Thanks! I wonder how much stopping and starting you have to do to build resistance. I stopped taking it about a week ago thinking I would wean myself off of it and use fish oil and flax. After about a week off the doxy, my eyes are burning lightly -- they're not as bad as they were before I started doxy and I'm not having foreign body sensations, so maybe the 6 months of taking doxy helped.

    C, thanks for the reminder on flax studies. I try to follow all the flax and fish oil studies and am currently taking the Theratears branded fish oil. People say it's helped them as much as doxy, so we'll see. I've only been on it steadily for 6 weeks.



    If the burning continues then I'll re-start the doxy and stay on it indefinitely. Even on the doxy, I had some slight burning issues mid-cyle, so it might just be correlating with that.

    Thanks again for the support and advice.

    Don't forget to humidify, because it's winter and it makes a huge difference, and don't forget compresses, your eye drops, and goggles when you go out in the cold air.

    Aren't the fish oil and the flaxseed oil for the same thing?

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