Lyme Disease Support by Ben's Friends

Doxycycline side effects

Hi Community,

I came down with symptoms of Lyme disease a few weeks ago after a deer tick nymp bit me in May, while I was out walking my dogs (and I live in a small city!). I had bad headaches, fatigue, and joint pain. My regular doctor was useless (gave me one dose of Doxycycline) and sent me on my way). So, I looked on the ILADS list of Lyme doctors here in Minnesota and found an out-of-network doctor who took me seriously. She sent me for the test (it came back negative of course), and prescribed Minocycline, but five days into this treatment I developed severe vertigo (although it did get rid of my Lyme symptoms). She then took me off of that and prescribed Doxycycline for 28 days, and I’m now on my fourth day of this. I don’t do well on antibiotics (allergic to Cephalexin and Amoxicillin) by the way. What has me concerned (terrified in fact) is that I have a trip to Florida coast planned in 10 days and will be in the sun and on airplanes for hours. I know Doxy causes diarrhea and nausea as well as sun sensitivity so I’m worried. When exactly do Doxy side effects take hold? I told my doctor about this and she said to contact her a little before my trip and she will advise me at that time (I think she might put me on a different drug). I’m actually wanting to stay on the Doxycyline the full 30 days if possible and if no debilitating side effects, because what terrifies me the most is not getting rid of this disease in this early stage God bless all of you who have chronic Lyme and didn’t even know you were bitten. I thank you in advance for any info on when Doxy’s side effects kick in and what other treatments might be available.
Thanks you,
Sheila in Saint Paul

Sheila: I am nearing the end of my Doxycycline treatment of 30 days and I was also worried about the side effects. I cannot take Zithromycin nor can I take any sulfa drugs due to allergies and side effects. I have not had any major problem with the Doxycycline as long as I take it with food. NOT milk…but something that has carbs and protein. The best result is to take it on an empty stomach but seriously, even my doc doesn’t know too many people that can handle it on an empty stomach. So, I take it with crackers, a protein bar, eggs, etc., in the morning and right after dinner in the evening. I am outside a lot and wear a SPF 25 and have not noticed any sunburn. Of course I am not laying out in the sun but rather in and out of a sun/shady yard. You have ten days to see if you will have problems. If you do, they will show up before you leave, in my opinion. You might also consider yogurt or probiotics while taking the doxy at least two hours before or after a dose. I am in the same situation as you. I have had the same symptoms, in addition to heart palpitations, and fevers. The Doxy stopped the fever and headache/stiff neck symptoms almost immediately. The join pain is getting better. What is really not improving as fast as I had hoped is the immense fatigue.I wish you the best. Have a great Florida trip!

Sheila, I’ve had Lyme Disease 2x (2011 and most recently 2017). You would think I lived in the woods. Each time the doctors prescribed Doxycycline for 30 days. The second time in 2017, I also had to take ceftriaxone as the lyme was in my left knee and the Doxy didn’t clear it up. With Doxy, you just have to be careful with sun exposure as I’m sure you are aware of the side affect. If your blood work came back negative, I strongly recommend to repeat it in a couple weeks as the tests are most reliable several weeks after an infection, after your body has had time to develop antibodies. One more thing, stay away from Lyme Literate doctors!

Thank you for all of that information. I’m hoping you meant “Lyme Illiterate doctors” in your post (and I meant to type “nymph” instead of “nymp” in mine). I’m sorry you had two rounds with Lyme, but it sounds like you’ve had success with treatment. I haven’t heard of ceftriaxone, I’ll look it up, because I TOO have problems with left knee joint. The tick bit me right on the inside of my left knee (crawled up my knee sock under my jeans!), a knee which I had injured during the winter walking on the ice. After the bite, it felt like I had the injury all over again. The Doxy (and even Minocycline) took most of the symptoms away, except for incredible sleepiness in the evenings. I’m hoping that will go away too. I get a little dizzy on the treadmill at the gym, so i’ll have to work my way back to being active and more fit. Thanks again.

Thank you very much Macshoe for those tips. I’ve found too that I have to eat at least something when taking the capsule, and I’ve found that if I drink half a glass of water first, it helps going down as well. I also bought yeast tablets and heavy-duty probiotics too – so far, so good. Oh, it also helps, I think, that I take the pill just before walking the dogs in the a.m. and p.m. so it helps digesting it. It’s heartening to hear you haven’t noticed sun sensitivity or other side effects. And the one remaining symptom for me too is the tiredness, the evening. I’ll certainly be a sight on the beach in Florida with most of my skin covered, hat, sunglasses, and strongest UV sunscreen I can find. I’m going to try not to worry further until (if) I have to. Thank you again for the helpful reply.

You are most welcome. I also am an avid dog lover, and have four dogs. I am always out in the yard with them or walking them and now have a puppy and no energy. It is so unnerving and I also get what feels like “out of body” feelings. But so far, no sunburn or any real problems with Doxy. If I didn’t have dogs, I doubt I would have been bitten nine times by ticks this Spring. YUK.

My husband has only had two tick bites compared to my nine. Have a great time!


I saw on PBS the other night where while there’s an anti-lyme vaccine for dogs, there is still non for people – although they continue to work on it. I use Bravecto and Nextgard on my two dogs, but they don’t actually repel ticks – so they could still get Lyme, so I’m now debating whether to have them vaccinated too. I had to go back to bed this morning for a two-hour nap so I’m still having that tiredness, and I know what you mean by “out-of-body” episodes - I get them after the treadmill at the gym and sometimes, just lying in bed trying to go to sleep at night. I’m just so thankful that those dreaded headaches are gone – crossing fingers that the Doxy will continue to work w/o side effects. Wow - 9 ticks just this spring - that is really evidence of an epidemic of them (can I ask what state you live in?). The stats show about 300,000 new cases of Lyme each year, and the most vulnerable are children between ages of 5 and 10 – and those are just the reported cases!. Four dogs and a new puppy! How exciting and I hope your energy continues to get better too.

Hi Shela, TRuth is traditional AMA treatments don not work period, At best they serve to diminish symptoms on a temp basis, even if one has a pic lint. You can research Lyme disease biofilm and discover yourself. Per usual the government selects to ignore the truth in such things. My Doc saved my life using a combination of LDI low dose immunotherapy-Germen style to treat lyme, combined with rare short term non doxy antibiotics for symptom relief and CBD oil, which is a recent Godsend for us Limies,It kills Lyms, lowers pain and can make you feel great in short order! Of course we are all different. My Doc has made CBD oil psart of his plan for everyone, he has gotten incredable results thus far, including me.
Get well soon-Ray

Thanks Ray for that information. I read up on the protocol your doctor is using and it seems to be promising esp. for chronic Lyme. I couldn’t find any long-term reports or studies on this approach and maybe because it’s so new. I’m glad you found a doctor who is willing to work with you on this – not sure where you live, but it sounds like a rare approach. I’m just now sticking with Doxy because antibiotics have been reported to quell the disease (if not eradicate the bacteria altogether) in the first few months. Of course, I could end up being among those who have symptoms even after antibiotic treatment, and if that turns out to be the case, I’ll look more closely into LDI therapy, as well as CBD oil - and for now at least I learned that this oil can be found in flax seeds - so thanks for that as well. All the best to you in your healing.

I am a 55 year old woman, and I am determined to raise awareness about the Lyme disease antibiotic “Doxycycline Hyclate” I was prescribed, and asked to take twice a day for 30 days. During my last ten days or so, I noticed how I started to feel depressed: I was just frustrated with everybody, and everything in general. Yesterday was my first full day off it, and last night I had some very vivid suicidal thoughts… to the point where I found myself writing a letter to my kids!!! :sleepy:

The next morning, I decided to search the Internet and I immediately came across a petition on that started in 2012. Their goal is to ask the pharmaceutical companies to add “suicidal thoughts” to their list of side effects. Even though this petition seems to focus on teens committing suicide -because it’s often prescribed for acne, I suppose- some adults also commented on the site and mentioned having suffered the same symptoms. The petition still needs about 1,000 signatures.

I have no doubt this medication helps people, but after reading people’s inputs online and having gone through my dreadful experience, I too want the pharmaceutical company to add “suicidal thoughts” to their list of side effects. I think it’s important for every patient to be made aware of this risk, and for their loved ones to be given the opportunity to keep their eyes peeled.

Here’s more info on the side effects people reported:
And here’s the petition. PLEASE SIGN IT! Thank you for your help.

Perhaps you are having a herkz reaction as a result of die off toxins are released into your body including brain