There have been several reports to RxISK of young men committing suicide on doxycycline. This led us to investigate further. The evidence seems clear – doxycycline can cause someone to commit suicide. We have no idea how often this happens but that it happens is certain.
The first report came from a mother in Australia who reported the death of her teenage son, who had been put on doxycycline for a minor dermatitis affecting his face. RxISK.org takes people through a causality algorithm to establish whether there is a link between their treatment and the adverse event. This algorithm expands on standard causality algorithms in the field such as the Naranjo algorithm. It gives a RxISK score. In this case the algorithm generated a score of 6 which points to a likely link between the treatment and the adverse event.
One of the goals behind RxISK is to get the person involved or a concerned family member to take a RxISK report to a doctor, pharmacist or someone else to get a conversation going and to intervene early. In this case, it is too late to prevent an injury but there are important conversations that families still need to have with their doctor or others. If there is agreement between doctor and the family member or the healthcare team that the drug has caused a problem in this case, this is the best evidence there is that the drug likely did cause the problem.
In this case the doctor had been consulted before the RxISK report had been written. The doctor had already written to the Australian drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Although her letter did not blame the drug, it offered no other explanation for this death other than the effect of the drug. Her question was ‘did the TGA have any evidence doxycycline could cause suicide?’
In fact the true RxISK score in this case should probably have been a great deal higher than the 6 reported here that pointed to a likely link. It should have been 9 or greater, which points strongly to a link. The reason it should have been higher is that several years beforehand, this young man’s elder brother had also been prescribed doxycycline as an anti-malarial pill. He stopped the drug after experiencing a lot of anxiety, insomnia and feeling ‘not right’.
The family did not make the connection between an anti-malarial drug one son had and the treatment for dermatitis another was put on some years later. If we take this earlier reaction into account, we have evidence for a challenge, de-challenge and re-challenge which would make for compelling evidence for a link between the treatment and the adverse event.
Challenge, de-challenge and re-challenge offers the kind of conclusive evidence for causality that many of us once applied to Christmas tree lightbulbs. Attempts to start the Christmas tree lights after they have been put away for a year often failed. Until the recent replacement of bulbs by LEDs, the next step was to unscrew each bulb in turn and if the lights came on when a particular bulb was unscrewed and went off again when that bulb was screwed back in this was taken as conclusive evidence that this bulb was the cause of the problem.
Challenge, de-challenge and re-challenge operates the same way and it appears very clear in the case of this family.
In response to the letter from the family doctor, Dr Hammett of the TGA noted that there had been no reports of completed suicides in Australia, other than this young man’s case. He conceded that there had been 15 or so reports of anxiety reactions. He also noted that there was nothing in the academic literature worldwide suggesting that this drug causes suicide.
This is a standard regulatory response to any questions like this from a doctor, or journalist, or family member. The first point is that regulators will never say a drug has caused a problem. They are still prepared to say that in the case of a limbless baby that the thalidomide its mother was on might have prevented a miscarriage rather than caused limblessness. When a young person hangs themselves on an SSRI, it is commonly because they are troubled by thoughts of self-harm and test their feelings out by putting their head in a noose which unfortunately can press on the carotid bodies on either side of their neck, cause them to slip out of consciousness and hang themselves in a manner that leaves them almost kneeling. In these cases regulators might raise the possibility that this is auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong.
The second thing a regulator will do is contain their search within national boundaries. Had the regulators in this case broadened the search out beyond Australia they would have found compelling evidence from the FDA database on RxISK.org. FDA have 16 reports of completed suicides on doxycycline since 2004, 18 reports of suicidal ideation and 17 reports of suicide attempts. Of the 16 suicides, 3 come from Australia.
Had the TGA gone further they might have found a petition on Change.org Doxycycline Causes Suicide in Teens that was put in place by Tara McCarthy after the death of her son Damien. Over 3,800 people have signed up to this requesting that the drug be more appropriately labelled.
On another information site making FDA data on adverse events available, eHealthMe.com, under the heading of suicide attempt there are 111 reports of suicide attempts from the FDA database. The difference in the number of reports between here and RxISK stems primarily from the fact that eHealthMe somewhat confusingly also includes data on doxycycline where doxycycline is not the only drug in the mix. In the case of someone given doxycycline for acne, and also given Roaccutane which is well known to cause suicide, eHealthMe files the event under doxycycline making it difficult to get a clear picture.
But aside from the figures, there is more compelling evidence that turns up on Google. Here are two narrative reports that appear uncomplicated by secondary drug intake.
A Mr Davies reported:
“I am a 42 year old male father of two. I started taking Doryx pills for a ruptured cyst several months ago and it did reduce the size and swelling. I have never thought about suicide before but within a few weeks of starting this medicine I have had the idea just pop into my head. I am not sure why – I am healthy and well-off and have a great relationship with my children and friends. I stopped taking the medicine for several months and have not had any ‘thoughts’ since.
Recently I began taking it again after checking the side effects and not finding depression or suicidal tendencies among them. After a couple of days back on it I again started having these thoughts. This prompted me to query Doryx plus suicide on Google and I found this page and a few others that mention others having similar experiences”.
RxISK aims at being the natural home for narratives like this and putting a megaphone in the hands of people who have experiences like this by giving them data on other cases but also engaging them with their doctor, pharmacist or local healthcare community.
A woman called Carrie also reports that:
“My 14 year old daughter just attempted suicide after several months on doxycycline for acne. She now says she has had suicidal ideation since shortly after starting the medication several months ago. Her dose of doxycycline was doubled a few weeks before her suicide attempt. She herself says she was not sad, she had no other signs of depression and does not understand why she felt compelled to kill herself. She gets good grades, is involved with clubs and friends and demonstrates appropriate affection. The timing with doxycycline is just too coincidental to not be connected.”
My personal interest in the issue of doxycycline and suicide was stimulated in the first instance by a colleague who reported very similar reactions. He took doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis when visiting South America some years ago. He noticed that he became anxious and irritable and had a change in personality. He did not connect this change to the drug at the time. He began to suspect the drug when he returned to the UK and stopped taking it.
A year later he visited China and again took doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis. When the same reaction happened a second time he was very clear that the doxycycline was causing the problem. Again the problem cleared up once he was in a position to stop the treatment.
Another report was filed with RxISK on yet another young man, who in this instance was put on doxycycline for mild acne. He took a first course in a low dose for over a year. He later reported to his parents that he had not liked its effects and felt better off it. This looks far more clear retrospectively than it looked at the time to his family. Six months later he went back on doxycycline but this time round was accidentally placed on double the dose and some weeks later committed suicide. His mother compiled a RxISK report but ended up with a much lower score than she should have for two reasons. One was because she was unaware of comparable reactions elsewhere.
The second was she filed the report to indicate her son had not increased the dose when in fact he had. She was right that the package was still labelled doxycycline 50 mg but in fact the pharmacist has accidentally dispensed 100 mg tablets. The aggravation of a problem with an increase in dose is almost as conclusive as the Christmas tree light bulb effect.
There is a compelling case that doxycycline can cause people to commit suicide.
At RxISK we are interested in any ideas anyone has as to the mechanism through which it causes suicides. In addition to any other problems doxycylcine may cause, we welcome other reports of suicidal or violent reactions or other strange behaviors linked to it. We are particularly interested in what your experience is like from the inside if anything like this has happened to you.
We are equally interested in any comments about why doxycycline cannot cause suicide and how someone might be mistaken into thinking that it could.
This story makes clear why report to RxISK.
Reporting to companies alone is pointless. They will bin, distort or degrade even compelling reports to the status of anecdotes.
Reporting to regulators alone, or companies and regulators alone, is also pointless. Regulators will never attempt to establish whether the drug did cause a problem in your case. There is nothing any regulator will ever do to help explain anything to a family or an affected individual. Their job is to regulate the wording of advertisements not to look after the public health in general or get involved in your case in particular.
(We would welcome any reports from anyone who has had anything useful back from a regulator).
The ideal is to report to RxISK and use a RxISK report to engage your doctor in the issue. If both you and your doctor think the drug has caused the problem, regardless of what companies or regulators might say, there is a chance of a successful intervention in a developing problem or getting closure after an injury has happened but there is also the possibility of mobilizing people to make treatment safer. Your doctor can give you more support than anyone. But equally, do not underestimate how much you can do for your doctor – your case may take her back to kind of ideals that brought her into medicine in the first place.
For more about doxycycline, see Suicide is Painless: Sylvia’s Story.
If this really checks out (and it sure looks solid) someone needs to warn the young men and women of the United States military. And fast. Up until 2009, U.S. troops were routinely given mefloquine (Lariam) to prevent malaria. That drug has a terrible reputation, well-deserved, for inducing violence, suicide and psychotic symptoms which in some people may persist for months or years after stopping. As of 2009, the Defense Department, finally giving in to the avalanche of evidence, switched their drug of choice for malaria prevention. To doxycycline.
Elspeth Ritchie, former lieutenant colonel and DoD’s leading psychiatrist in the field, presided over the mass dosing of soldiers with Lariam for most of the 2000’s. Now, however, she is endeavoring to present the drug as somewhat of a scapegoat. She’s due to lecture at the upcoming American Psychiatric Association convention in May on the psychiatric side effects of two drugs she’s prepared to admit could play a role in military suicides: mefloquine, which is seldom used anymore, and steroids, whose use by active-duty troops is often illicit.
Ritchie has speculated in Time magazine’s Battlefield blog that the massacre of Afghan civilians carried out by Sgt. Robert Bales in 2012 was due to mefloquine intoxication. But it’s far more likely Robert Bales would have been given doxycycline, not mefloquine in Afghanistan in 2011-2012. In 2011, the Army gave doxycycline to 151,802 soldiers, compared to only 1,780 soldiers who received mefloquine. Meanwhile, the role of multiple antidepressants, antipsychotics, sleep aids and painkillers continues unexamined. Add doxycycline to the list of medications that soldiers and their families need to watch out for.
Much of my information here comes from the progressive online magazine Truthout – which seems well-sourced on this:
Please read our petition and the updates I listed my concern about the use of doxy in the military and the rise in active duty suicides.
My son is one of the you g men mentioned above. I also questioned and mentioned the use of Doxy in US Military and the rise of active duty suicides.
Please read Damein’s story and sign and share our petition.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I completely agree with the study and the data that was presented. I’m currently on doxy for lymes disease treatment and have a history of mental illness. I’m on medication for it which has been working amazing but since starting doxy 6 days ago, my depression as well as random suicidal thoughts have gotten worse. I think this medication needs to be further researched and a cautionary label should be on the RX for people.
First I will start by saying I am so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine what you have gone through, but your strength and petition will help others. My son started Doxycycline for acne last month. I was hesitant at first but after both the dermatologist and his pediatrician told me to use it, and after reading the listed side effects I decided to give it to him. After 9 days on the medicine he started having panic attacks. In retrospect I can pinpoint odd conversations that showed him becoming depressed. He started living in this constant state of anxiety and expressing irrational thoughts or worry or just simply irrational thought. He was very emotional and depressed or angry. He withdrew from all activities that he liked doing and became a shadow of a child that I knew. Then he tried to cut his arm, the day after the panic attack. This all happened so fast, only days. After the first panic attack that I witnessed ( he now expressed to me that the first attack was at school), I stopped him from taking the medication. It was the only thing that was new to him. I started researching and found other cases only after an internet search using the two words “doxycycline and suicide”. Anxiety, depression and psychosis are not listed as side effects for Doxycycline. There is no doubt in my mind that doxycycline caused this. My son was fine before he started taking it. It is now the 12th day he is off the medicine and he appears to be getting back to his old self. He still becomes depressed at times and is hesitant to do things he used to enjoy. I have taken him to a therapist and she was the only person in the medical field to actually research what I was saying about doxycycline. She does in fact believe the medication caused this. I have signed your petition and have shared it and will keep doing so. Doxycycline should not be on the market. How many children or individuals will take their lives before this is taken off the market? How many individuals will live with mental health issues because of this medication?
Thank you Tara for your strength. Thank you for sharing. Your sons story is saving lives.
My daughter was prescribed doxycycline for acne around November 2019. Throughout the weeks that followed, she began extremely tense and anxious.
At first, we put this down to PMT, but the symptoms continued before and after menstruation. In mid-December, my daughter noted that she had slight menstrual bleeding between periods, which, lasted for around 10 days per time.
She had instances of feeling warm across her forehead as if she were feverish. She had muscular tightness across her chest and a feeling of pressure bearing down on her chest. She ruminated on issues were not important or significant. She struggled to sleep and felt over-whelmed. The tension and anxiety became increasingly worse to the point that, on three or more occasions, she burst into tears with no apparent reason.
My daughter is normally a very calm and happy person and has no particular sources of stress or anxiety in her life. She continued to take the medication until around the end of February 2020.
The first day that she stopped taking the medication, her mood had improved significantly. This is now 20th March 2020. The inter-menstrual bleeding has stopped. She has no further feelings of feverishness, feelings of tightness across her chest have reduced significantly and she has since stopped ruminating on insignificant matters as much.
It is striking that all of these symptoms, which plagued her, have either reduced or have disappeared completely since she stopped taking doxycycline. I am very glad that she looked at the websites to see what others had said about this drug because that is what prompted her to stop taking it.
Everything that my daughter experienced during the time she took doxycycline was completely out of character for her and frightening to watch as a parent. I would not recommend doxycycline to anyone. If people decide to embark on it, I would recommend that they read the side effects and what others have said about it online and then make an informed choice. I wish that we had known prior to my daughter embarking on this course of medication of how dire the effects would be. If we had had this insight, she would never have taken doxycycline. I think it should not be prescribed for anyone. Even if only a few people experience these effects, it is a few too many as they are extreme.
I am currently taking doxy twice a day as treatment for Lyme’s Disease (I live in Poland where Lyme’s is very widespread in our region). I am 3 weeks into a 4 week treatment, and like many here, I feel depressed, anxious, irritable and sometimes borderline paranoid. I don’t feel suicidal, and do feel strong enough to get through the treatment and recover on the other side…. however I had a similar course of treatment last year (yes, Lyme’s Disease again), and had similar symptoms, so I definitely feel there is a strong link between this drug and the mental health symptoms I have described above.
Last year, whilst undergoing the treatment, I had a period of 2-3 days when the feelings of anxiety and paranoia were particularly bad, and honestly in my whole life I have never felt so scared for myself. I think understanding that the drug itself may be the cause of these feelings may go a long way towards calming that anxiety, so making patients who take doxy more aware of these potential side-effects would be very important, and I do hope much more research on potential links with mental health problems are undertaken.
On a personal level, to all of you who have been, or are suffering from this, I understand the feeling, I hope you take care of yourselves and make good recoveries.
I think the Rxisk score will vary from person to person simply because some people are likely to ‘play’down certain effects they have experienced-which is why the score may need to be higher than how it first appears on a report.
I speak from experience – the report I submitted didnot sound as serious as in fact it was – Only now several months after the event am I actually determining the ‘damage’ my side effect had or potentially could have had- if I hadn’t caught it in time and delivered myself for help. I feel the Rxisk score could well have been alot higher- but I suppose the main thing is I reported it.
I am very interested in this, and the wider purpose of RxISK. However, it is important to capture the reason the drug is given, alongside the drug itself. For instance, doxycycline is prescribed both as an antibiotic and for malaria prophylaxis in the military. The risk associated with use in military personnel who may be exposed to traumatic situations is fundamentally different from antibiotic use, and the potential for suicidality will also vary. Incidentally, doxycycline is also used for acne, and here again there is an enhanced risk of suicide among such patients. I am not dismissing the evidence at all, merely pointing out how the information can be better gathered and used. I am sure that there are many side effects which are under-reported and we should encourage more thorough feedback; but do tie it in with the drug’s use.
I personally have been taking this pill day to day and I have been noticing the effects I have been receiving from this medication. I fell as though I am less anxious and depressed when I do not take it which I got from being off and on the pill many times throughout the past four years. I took the pill today and I have decided to stop.
I was prescribed Doxycline for a respiratory infection. Almost immediately I had serious depression evidenced by weeping, a feeling of sadness, general anxiety as well as nausea.
I will not take this drug again.
It made me suicidal I was crying loss of taste I will never take it again
Are you feeling better after taking the Doxycycline? Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to about this.
Hi! Did this resolve? How are you feeling ?
Not yet. If you want to talk you can email me email@example.com
I’ve been in healthcare for 25 years and have cared for a number of people over that time who have been prescribed doxycycline for infection control. Just as there is no scientific evidence presented in any of the above articles and comments, I too will give anecdotal evidence. NONE of the people I cared for developed depression or attempted suicide that I can recall. In the instances listed above I note many are incomplete personal testimonials from parents. What parent is going to admit their child was not perfect? How many times do we hear of someone committing or attempting suicide and their family and friends are perplexed because everything appeared to be fine? We just have seen L’ren Scott commit suicide by hanging herself. Mick Jagger and all her aquaintances were shocked even though it was well known she was having serious Relationship,financial and business problems. I understand the pain and guilt associated with the death of a loved one, especially a child. But in an effort to place blame for the actions of the deceased on anyone BUT the deceased, are these allegations that doxycycline “caused” their suicides legitimate? I have never known a thought to actually kill someone. I’m unsure how a medication is physically capable of loading a gun and firing it. Or hold a knife and slit a wrist. Or tie a noose and force it over a persons head. Or cram other pills down a persons throat. In other words, each individual who attempted or committed suicide had to take a series physical actions to perform the act. No where have I heard in the anecdotal evidence that the individuals were otherwise mentally impaired by using the medication. Since their mental status did not appear to be affected adversely, their actions should still have been able to be controlled by themselves. Why then no call for assistance to those nearby? Why no questions to Doctors, family members or others about these strange new thoughts? In fact, I have heard no anecdotal evidence AT ALL that explains why there has been made a definitive link between taking doxy and suicide much less establishing causality. In no case of suicide EVER has the culprit been the item used to commit it. Inanimate objects are incapable of jumping up and performing an action which would lead to the death of a person. It is ALWAYS the person who performs the action and thus it is the person who is responsible for their own death. This is sad and unfortunate. But it is NOT a reason for people to blame anyone but the individual for their actions. Individual accountability for ones actions has been downplayed in this country for decades. The willingness for people to blame every bad event in their lives on anything but themselves has come into vogue currently. The desire to have rights without responsibilities is seductive because accepting personal accountability is difficult and opens oneself up to recriminations and consequences. Who wants to accept consequences that are negative? However that is exactly what needs to be done here.
I’m a mental health nurse in New Zealand near to having prescribing rights. I have no idea of the pharmacodynamics & how it may impact the central nervous system however our national medicines authority notes depression & anxiety as uncommon side effects of doxycycline. I found this out after seeking this info out due to increasing flat affect, consistent low mood and loss of appetite. I will be stopping the medication as I suspect I am experiencing these as side effects. Doxycycline will not ’cause’ suicide however if it precipitates a major depressive episode then it can be linked to a suicide.
In reading all of the replies so far, I can so far find nobody has gone past the first chapter about initial cause-effect relationships to address there are a hatful of drugs out there that don’t actually lipstick a note on the mirror to ‘just do it’. What they do is modify on-board prewired judgments to enable and provide a medicinal approval of such thoughts. As when one drinks alcohol inhibitions start to dissolve and you can get a “what the hell, why not” attitude. It all needs to be studied.
This is plain wrong. There are 100 drugs or more than can cause suicidal and homicidal impulses that are in no way pre-wired
As with other extreme side effects in medicines, depression/anxiety/suicidal thoughts may be rare in Doxycycline. Your attitude and closed mind exemplifies the ‘I haven’t seen or heard of this so it must be you’ wall that many patients come up against. You say that: ‘The willingness for people to blame every bad event in their lives on anything but themselves has come into vogue currently’. Well, the willingness to blame the individual for something, when in actual fact they were mentally healthy before taking a medication has been in ‘vogue’ a good deal longer.
Just because a side affect isn’t officially documented, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The pharmaceutical companies rule with an iron fist. They will fight tooth and nail to avoid losing sales. Due to this and many other factors, it takes a long time for a rare side affect to become officially recognised. If you have been in healthcare for 25 years and are still unaware of how seriously some medications can seriously alter a persons personality then I wouldn’t want you treating me.
Well said, Mike and a big thank you!
I totally agree with Mike and Dr, David Healey, the medical profession are responsible for many deaths, these lethal drugs are killing thousands or more a year. This is the 21st century, there were more cures heard of years ago but it’s always the same thing “there have been no trials” and there never will be while the medical profession are peddling these lelthal and dangerous drugs. I was just offered Doxycycline and i told the doctor “no i don’t want a drug that might cause me to be suicidal! She said “oh it’s safe,” i said forget it i refuse to take it. The same as the other anti-malarial drug LARIAM, and the two other drugs Zyban and Chantix which there have been many suicdes and serious mental problems, and you get the same thing, whereby they feel the drugs should still be sold, because they improve something or other, a lot of these people had no mental problems, i think that says it all. I was on aivan for 27 years, and i thought nope i’m not addicted to a pill? So i left it off for one day, i got as far as the station, i saw trains coming off the tracks, floors all moving, i was sweating, heart racing, i was 6 months pregnant at the age of 50, a shock to me, as i only had one son, the drug killed the baby i was carrying and i lost a third of my eyesight, only then to be put on valium whereby i went through 10 years of sheer hell at a drug addictions unit being labelled as schizo etc.etc.etc. only to find after 10 years i was called in by the head lady and told “why was you ever sent here? There is nothing wrong with you” I walked out and never returned, as i saw what was going on in that addictions unit. I now hate all medical drugs, give me alternative medicine any day, i don’t hear anyone committing suicide with them. This guy, Paul i found very insensitive, there are people on this site who came forward worried about the dangeers. He has the most appalling attitude! I’m glad i’m not under his care! Well done to all those who have the courage to speak up. It is your right! Rosina Lock from London
How dare you decide people are making this stuff up! I never feel like this. This drug has caused me to feel extreme anxiety and hoplessnes. It is the WORST feeling of anything I’ve ever experinced! I am patiently waiting for 5 days, to get it out of my brain. I used to work at a mental health facility. I was a secretary for a psychiatrist. Most people don’t make this stuff up in order to have something to blame. This is very real and so are most mental disorders! So called, health professionials, like you, treating others like their making this up because they have never heard of it before are the cause of certain people to lose hope and commit suicide! That’s why I’m on this thread. Everyone was nice at my clinic until I insisted that this drug is causing mental side-effects. So if you are not in the majority, you aren’t really experiencing this horrific side-effect? You couldn’t be more wrong! You are in the wrong profession!
Hi Karen currently going through hell after taking 100mg twice a day for 12 days been off it for two weeks. Still feel hopless and intrusive thoughts. Did you get any better? Hope to hear from you soon.
Hi – I noticed your post is pretty old but was hoping you could tell me if your still off and if you feel better now. My 13 yr old son started taking this in May and we had him in the hospital a few days ago – he’s been researching best way to commit suicide. He’s was happy bright & talented no obvious reasons for him to feel this way! He ran out about 2 weeks ago so hoping his cloud will lift soon.
Same here. My son, age 13 has been off of it for 1.5 months and still has severe depression. Did your son have or admit to depression prior to taking the Doxycycline? Just starting to research issues. I also think that over usage of being online drives them further down this path. What are your thoughts? Are you bringing him to a Psychiatrist? This is my next step, but want to research more, just to educate myself. There is not enough data for their age, is what I am seeing. He was taking low dosage 75 Mg, once daily.
I Chris I have been talking this antibiotics for 6 months I was toaly mess up but with a proper diet and a lots of probiotics I’m finally starting to get better! It will pass you have to believe! !
Hi Claudio! I know this was a long time ago, but I want to know if you are feeling better? And how long did it take you?
I too am interested in how long it took you to recover. Despite what Paul above said, my son felt the affects of Doxy and I am very grateful for finding this online before it was too late. He has since stopped and feels significantly better after just one week but I do worry about long term side effects. I am beating myself up here for allowing him to take this at the recommendation of a Dermatologist.
” The willingness for people to blame every bad event in their lives on anything but themselves has come into vogue currently.”
Lol fuck you. I’m perfectly happy and love my life and have been fucking suicidal literally when I started taking this pill.
Thank you, that’s what I wanted to write. How are you doing now? How long did you take this and how long did it take you to feel better?
This is the second time I have taken doxy for acne. It 100% effects my mood. I don’t feel suicidal just kind of blah and flat in my emotions and can get extremely irritable quickly. I never thought an antibiotic could effect me this way so it has taken me a while to figure out that it’s that that’s causing me to feel off and not myself! It’s like it exacerbates emotions. It’s really hard to explain! I googled it to see if I was the only one and obviously I am not! So if I were a doctor I would be cautious in prescribing this medication! Also just to put things in perspective even more, I am a happy educated married mom of two, happily married have friends and run a successful business! Of course I have life issues just like everyone but nothing out of the ordinary! I just say all of that bc I’m sure it’s hard to pin point side effects in medication considering all of the different factors that have to be considered! Just wanted to throw this out there to help! Also ignore my bad grammar, I just didn’t feel like typing this from my phone and taking the time to be correct. Just wanted to type and not worry with it! Have a great day!
My son is still in hospital now after taking Doxycycline for acne over half a year. This is the only medicine he has been taking and acne is the only medical problem he has. He got severe depression issue. You said there is no scientific proof of this problem. If every professional refuse to record and study the cases, where is the scientific proof coming from and how many more young men and young women will be hurt without any warning?
*discussion of suicidal thoughts/mental illness below*
I was on Doxy for about 2 months. I became increasingly paranoid, felt intense anxiety and developed severe symptoms of OCD. The feelings I experienced were horrific. I felt like I was having some kind of nervous breakdown.
My brain became compulsive. I had music constantly playing in my head (an earworm) and my thoughts would race. I became terrified that I would never have peace in my brain again, and for the first time in my life seriously contemplated shooting myself in the head to get some ‘quiet’. I honestly felt like I would never have a quiet moment again.
I also suffered from morbid intrusive thoughts and images. I became afraid of hurting myself and others, even though I’ve never self harmed or seriously harmed anyone in my life before.
I am now off the Doxy and my symptoms are settling down. I am now able to sleep in my own room alone, and am not having nightly panic attacks. The whole experience was terrifying and because of it I have now developed triggers. Seeing or hearing discussion of things such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis etc make me feel ill, as these were the mental illnesses I was convinced I had developed.
I wish I had been warned by my Dr that there was a possibility for these symptoms. I suffered depression as a teenager and feel that I was possibly more susceptible due to this. I wish my history had been taken into account before I was prescribed such a terrible drug for me.
I suffered through all of this because I have hormone related pimple breakouts. A nightmare, over achieving clear skin.
My 15 year old daughter started taking 100 mg doxycycline twice daily for acne last summer. After about two months of taking the drug I noticed that my normally type A perfectionist child was becoming even more obsessive and fatalistic. She kept talking about how hopeless everything was and how she was a big disappointment to everyone around her. She obsessed over being a failure and despaired over every decision. This kid with a great sense of humor stopped laughing and seemed unable to experience any joy in her life. The only change in her life/routine I could identify was the doxy (which didn’t seem to be working anyway). I took her off the doxy and within two weeks she began to act like her old self. She laughed more, slept better, started to look forward to things, and began to have friends over again. Incidentally my younger daughter was also on doxy for acne and she never seemed to experience any difficulties from the drug. She is a more laid back kid and not as intense as her older sister. Neither one of them have taken the drug since last fall and I have no intentions of putting them back on it ever again. I hope this is helpful.
Was given doxycline for kidney problem after bad food poisoning. First day or 2felt washed out still very ill from kidney problem then by the 3rd or 4th day started feeling really bad deep inside felt like someone had ripped my personality and all the joy out of my body… felt like there was no point to anything and no point living. I saw my local surgery nurse who new as soon as i told her the drugs nane – she new what problems this has caused to other patients including suicidal tendancy idealisation…. its incredulous that the full side effects are not being shared with the general public.
My dad was on and off doxycycline for 7 year the last couple months before his suicide my dad had a reaction to it and went to the er and was told he is allergic to it but his doctor told him to keep taking it and take benadryl with it .Day we before my dad took his life he was vomiting and had very bad stomach pain he was also very anxious and obsessing over stuff he normally wouldnt .The day of my dad went to my daughters game and came home and eat lunch with in minutes of my mom coming home my dad started acting weird .he then went and go his gun and told my mom he was going to kill him self .my dad never in a million years would say that .My mom tried her best to stop him but she couldnt he ran out side and took his life in front of my mom .My dad was a very sensitive person and he had zero emotion to him when he took his life not even one tear in his eye .I wouldnt have ever been able to put the puzzle together if it wasnt for tara sharing her story about her son .Because of her my family can have closer .My dad passed away march15,2014 .Im not trying to blame anyone and We dont want anything but a little warning on the bottle cause maybe if it did my dad would have known to stop taking it and call his doctor
i had the worst side effects to doxy. dizziness, nausea, head pressure, anxiety.the worst thing ever. was on it for 2 weeks. it took a week to come out of my system.alot of it was in my head too. doctor told me to relax and get it out of my head.i took panadol every 6 hours and meditated as well.good luck coming off this horrid drug
i had the worst side effects to doxy. dizziness, nausea, head pressure, anxiety.the worst thing ever. was on it for 2 weeks. it took a week to come out of my system.alot of it was in my head too. doctor told me to relax and get it out of my head.i took panadol every 6 hours and meditated as well.good luck coming off this horrid drug
this medication has messed my mind up, words can not explain how i feel. I really wish there was a warning on the bottle.
Messed my mind up pretty bad too. Been off it for about two weeks, how are you feeling these days? Hope to hear from you soon.
Any feedback would be great on how you are doing now. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you soon.
I’ve only taken 3 of these damn tablets and it’s made my anxiety so bad that I’m ticking every 5 minutes in bed. This has been happening now for the last 2 nights. I’m suffering with my anxiety and depression anyway as we had to put my dog down who was my best friend 3 days ago but this has made me think of killing myself just to stop the pain and I’ve never had those thoughts before. I’ve stopped taking them now. Horrible medication.
I was prescribed doxycycline by my dermatologist for acne-like eruptions on my face. It has only been 3 days and I’ve grown weepy. I begin to cry about every small thing that does not go well, and I’ve also been feeling increasingly sad, even though logically I know there’s nothing wrong with my life. I’m going to stop taking this medicine now that I’ve read about others experiencing similar symptoms, because my weepiness has coincided so strikingly with taking this medication.
I ONLY TAKEN 3 TABLETS & NOW IM SEVERELY PARANOID I WISH I WOULDN’T OF TAKEN THIS MEDICINE I FEEL SOO ALONE
I took this medication for 3 weeks and was consumed with fear and thoughts of death. I was involuntarily shaking for days. The fear and emotional pain was so intense that I prayed to god to kill me. After the initial effect wore off, for some reason, caffeine and certain medications will trigger the effect again. I have never had a problem with caffeine before. Even when it’s not in effect, the dark thoughts still linger with me and I have become depressed to the point that I cannot work. I cry with feelings of despair multiple times during the day. I feel no hope in my life. I pray that this will improve with time.
Please if you are taking doxy stop and talk to your doctor It will take weeks to feel normal dont give up this med really messes with your mind
I’ve been on doxy 100 mg per day for 3 weeks now and the depression/bad feelings started within a few days. I realized it was the doxy but kept going because crazy enough I’m willing to suffer through this to clear my acne. But it’s starting to become bad as I’ve felt detached from my husbad and thoughts of suicide have crossed my mind. I know it’s crazy but I’m still going to give it another week or two because my skin is a huge problem for me… but I am slightly scared. I may talk to my doctor about a different treatment plan…
Taking Doxycycline 100mg 2x a day for a sinus infection. I started noticing a difference about a day into being on the medication. It just registered today though (4 days in) that something was wrong. I’ve been feeling very numb and disinterested in things around me, increased anxiety and depression for no real reason. I kept thinking everythings great so why am I feeling like this. I did some research and came across a few articles including this one where others have experienced symptoms of depression on Doxycycline. Needless to say, Im stopping the medication and calling my doctor in the morning for something new to take for the infection, I’d rather deal with sinus’ then feeling like this.
Hello also having feelings of bad depression and intrusive morbid thougts after taking doxy for two weeks. How are you feeling these days? Hope to hear from you soon.
I have a skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa and was prescribed doxy. I was on it for two months with no major problems other than stomach aches, until the third month. I started to experience feelings I’ve never had. A “foggy” mind was my biggest problem. I was 17 at the time and was too embarrassed to tell the doctor about my depressive thoughts. I know, big mistake. I am now on erythromycin and again after 2 fine months, the 3rd month is making me feel how I felt on doxy. I feel completely detached from my life, as if I have no control of anything. Both doxy and erythromycin made me very paranoid. My anxiety was always high, which also made me extremely exhausted. Both medicines made me feel like a completely different person. I stopped both mediciations and have no intention on starting them again, even though my skin condition did improve. If anyone has any advice on an antibiotic that works for them for acne/hidradenitis suppurativa, please reply to this post. Thank you.
We don’t get into treatment options on RxISK but broadly there are likely to be a bunch of non-pharm and non antibiotic things as well as other antibiotics that won’t cause this (it may be that any antibiotic that’s anti-inflamm will have the same response). Check out
Having consulted this last week for a skin complaint its a great resource for all things dermatological
If someone could call me in regards to this matter I would greatly appreciate it. My son has this been diagnosed with epilepsy he’s been taking doxycycline for less than 6 months. the uncontrollable Behavior no violence just very very high and very very Lows some school officials were even worried about him possibly committing suicide.. it went from everything from seizures 2 deep depression two absolute uncontrollable behavior that he did not know what he was doing to finally the diagnosis of epilepsy in an area that controls his behavior.. The monster drug along has destroyed lots of lives an the company that makes it needs to be stopped.
I was perscribed doxy twice a day for 14 days for a sinus infection. The first two days I took this pill I should have recognized what was happening an didn’t I have never had such severe depression OCD racing thoughts unable to control my mind paranoia anxiety feeling like I have lots control of my life and that everything I enjoy doing is gonna be taken from me. I can’t get excited about anything an when I do start to have positive thoughts there interupted by horrific disgusting thoughts I’ve never felt uncomfortable around friends and family this is totally not me at all I have never felt like this I have been off this med for month an half now it’s gotten better but not 100 percent I’ll have some good days an the some days as though it never went away. I have heard it takes months for this to go away this is terrible. This drug is like doing meth or some sort of other mind alerting drug an it should be illegal!!!!!!! I feel this horrible feeling like something is trying to take my mind over an Iam contanstly fighting it. I just want my old self back this has been the toughest 2 months of my life!!!!!! An the depression is very bad try to think positive or think of things that get me excited an bam!!!! It’s like nothing makes me feel better I wanna f&:!ing scream!!!!! My beautiful girlfriend an family have been helping me threw this but I feel detached from everything Iam doing how long does this take to go away!!!!!!!!!
I am having the same exact symptoms as you, I began taking the doxy garbage around May, been off it for two weeks. LiKE you say some days are okay then other days these horrible thoughts consume me. Just wanted to know if you can reply and let me know if it’s gotten any better?
How are you feeling now. I also feel this way and it’s really scary. I just want it to all go away. I would appreciate a response from you. Thank you.
I have read these comments with great interests, my wife has been on Doxy for several months for an infected implant in her mouth, and has come down with many of the symptoms commented on here, terrible anxiety, seeing supposed spiders, afraid to do anything and lies in bed all day.
I started to suspect this and mentioned it to several doctors and they mostly dismissed it as to being some other cause.
Many doctors say they have never had patients experience these things, well maybe most people don’t have problems with it just like most people are fine eating nuts and to others it can be deadly. Every body has a little bit of difference in their chemical, physical and hormonal makeup and can be effected quite differently than others with different foods and chemicals, for doctors to say that certain medicines won’t negatively effect people is just being naive and wrong.
Hello Delon, would like to know if your wife’s symptoms have improved?
I started googling tonight to try and find out if my intense anxiety and panic attacks could be linked to Doxy. I started taking it on Tuesday last week (for rosacea) and within 3 hours I had that horrid rushing feeling in my chest to the point where it was hard to breathe. My usually positive mindset disappeared and I found it very hard to interact with others. A few years ago I did have anxiety attacks but nothing at all in the last 2 years. I went from sleeping well to insomnia.
I did not link the 2 things at first but then I noticed it was worse after taking my tablets (and getting worse and worse each day) so yesterday I stopped taking them as I could not take it any more. Today, i have had no panic attacks at all and my dark thoughts have gone. I feel slightly hung over but my head is clearing and I am actually looking forward to going to bed.
I am amazed at how intense it was and if it had continued to get worse I would hate to think where I would have ended up. I am 42, with a family and have faced many challenges and I guess I am lucky that I am quite in tune with how I feel and that I knew that the only change I had made was the Doxy…i really feel for the younger people that have continued to take it and ended up taking their lives.
I’m feeling very thankful that I found this website. I’ve taken many antibiotics in the past and made the poor assumption that an antibiotic certainly couldn’t cause the kind of feelings I began having after starting on Doxycycline. I was very frustrated with a persistent head cold that wouldn’t go away. I was prescribed a week’s worth of Doxy at 100mgs a day. I immediately began to feel irritable and angry, unsettled, moody, sad, and anxious. I know that’s a long list but it’s accurate. These various effects culminated on the fourth day when I lost it and smashed our phone. I noticed myself thinking quite a bit about suicide as well. I have suffered terribly from anxiety and depression but this felt different. It was a very obvious change that I should have taken more seriously. I know people will think that because my past includes anxiety and depression that this was a coincidence — it wasn’t. I have become very in tune with my body and tried to stick out the 7 day course out of a desperation to get back to work. This is my second day off the medicine and I am still feeling a bit off but definitely better. I am just wanting to warn people to be very careful when they or a family member are prescribed this drug. Keep a close watch and if things get weird throw the damn stuff in the trash can.
Started doxy 3/28/2016( given in urgent care for a cat bite) 100 mg 2x day. Felt OK during 2 week course. Last day I had alergic reaction to food I’ve had a million times. Head to toes in hives. 50 mgs of benadryl fixed me and I figured I was fine.
A few weeks later,(6/13/2016) started experiencing dizziness/vertigo/panic driving. Very irritable and started finding myself “in my own head ” way too much. Panic after eating. Began feeling a bit detached from my normal life. Went to the GP and was referred to GI. GI was no help at all.
Flash forward 6/28/16, after having more bad days than good (extreme dizziness , generally feeling down and like a completely different person) I took a day off from work. I experieneed what I now know to be a MAJOR panic attack. I had to call an ambulance for myself, BP was 190/110 HR 88 which is soon high for me. Diagnosed as hypophosphetemia (caused by hyperventilation ) in ER LOL! WELL NO KIDDING!!
Ive since seen a psychiatrist who says he’s read about people having panic attacks and depression from ABX but never treated anyone for it. I am on celexa and have taken attavan everyday for the past two week’s with limited relief. Not sure when I will start feeling better , it’s been 2.5 months.
Hey. I’ve had similar effects on doxy. How are you doing these days?
I started taking my first dose of Doxy on Sunday night after a visit of the doctor for acute urinary tract infection. Everything was ok. I took two more pills on Monday and am feeling increasingly depressed, hopeless and generally dizzy/hungover to the point of nearly stumbling onto the road in heavy trafic this morning. I just came back from my normal Dr and he told me that Doxy might cause those side effects and should not be the first option for UI treatment anyway. He prescribed me a different antibiotic and I hope this horrible feeling I feel right now will soon fade away. Seriously, I went from having a great time and being happy and content (besides the pain of the infection, but normally this does not make me so depressed) to irritable, hopeless, empty with intrusive thoughts for no reason at all.
Hey sar I took doxy too it has been about two months, and I am feeling anxiety depression, thoughts of suicide, and harming others. I feel your pain.
I took doxycycline for 12 months in Afghanistan… sometimes I worry that its long term use altered me.
Sorry to hear about all the bad mental health reactions. My brain works better after my use, and I suspect it is because of the anti-inflammatory aspect of doxycycline. It reduced inflammation in my body so well that the excess fluid removal caused some nausea and diarrhea in first two days. I have used for various infections from insect bites turned bad, to acne. I quit the use for acne after 3 months because it turned some teeth gray. Each time I have ever used it, my brain is less foggy, my eyesight is better, and more.
So I only looked up if this can cause depression cause after 9 days of taking this antibiotic I’ve noticed I’m more depressed than usual and like I’m unsure of the reason. I’m 20 btw, & i’ve been depressed for a long time but for the past few months I’ve been feeling more positive and just had a feeling of well-being and purpose I guess more than ever and I was curious about the side affects of this antibiotic, I know it doesn’t say it can cause depression on the list of side affects i recieced with the pills but I just had to find out cause for what seems to be no reason at all ive been more depressed than i have been in months (i still got depressed before this but it was on and off like it wasnt consistant and it wasnt always so severe) and ive just been feeling so strange things dont feel right everything just feels off ive been wanting to cry a lot i havent felt as motivated to do the things i like, its crazy, like even right now as i write this i feel so sad like it feels so deep, and idk, im not sure if im just depressed, or if its a combination of that and the antiboitics. After reading this though I believe i wasnt wrong to assume the pills were affecting my mood. Something else that really kinda worried me when i read this was that people on this antibiotic have said they had thoughts of suicide and self harm, and i havent self harmed in over a year and today i felt like doing it again, and ive been doing fine with that lately ive been positive ive learned to love myself so that i wouldnt even concider hurting myself anymore and i havent had any urges to do so for over a year, not until today. idk its a bit unsettling.
So I’m a 60 year old guy taking this for Lyme disease for 21 days. After 6 days I’m having sleeping issues( I never do normally) and feel during the day that life is kind of meaningless and that I just don’t feel right. But definetly not suicidal. This shouldn’t be the effects of Lyme because I caught it very early and it’s a disease that takes months to effect you. I find this info very interesting!!
My 17 year old son just took his own life. We now know that his thoughts of anxiety, suicide, hopelessness, and self-loathing began shortly after starting this medication. In his suicide note, he stated he kept it hidden because he didn’t think people would understand him. This was not typical thoughts and behavior for him. How could a young man going through major hormonal changes make the connection between how he was feeling and a drug that his physician said was safe? Who knows if this drug was the cause, but if we had been told there was a possibility of these symptoms we could have chosen not to give it to him. Or when these feelings did arise he could have made a connection to the drug and at least started having a conversation about what he was feeling. people need to have this information to make the best choices for themselves and their children.
I started it a few days ago and I feel like crap , no energy , severe depression , anxiety, flu like symptoms
I would suggest discontinuing them right away and seeing your doctor, the long-term effects can be devastating.
I experienced this reaction too, and it was one of the most horrific things I’ve ever been through. Constant shaking, vomiting, and passing out from fear. I almost took my own life. It took me a long time to recover emotionally, but I finally feel hope again.
I would suggest avoiding caffeine and SSRI medications. For some reason those triggered the reaction again even though I’ve taken them with no problems before. If you’re currently going through this, consider seeking out a short-term xanax prescription, but as always with opioids, use extreme discretion.
If you’ve been through this, I promise you will recover. For a long time I thought I wouldn’t, but here I am.
How long did it take for you to get better? Please contact me at email@example.com.
Hi Jill I am in the same boat how long did it take to recover and what were your steps? So far I have started taking probiotics
I’ve been taking doxycycline for a few days. Depression, dark, has reawakened since starting this drug. Was almost completely gone and then I started on doxy a few days ago. Am now having dark depression in which I seem ok/even successful on the outside but now thinking, “What’s the point to living on this crazy planet and how can I get off ship of fools?”. Will stop the doxy today…so depressed this morn, surprised that it had come on so suddenly, that I googled “doxycycline and depression” and found this web site. Having some medical background, I’ll go to pubmed, the Internet in general, and try to understand why doxy might do this to certain people. Curious to know. Although I doubt I’ll find anything but hidden away there might be some study, you never know.
I’m sorry for anyone that is going through this. I took Doxycycline I was prescribed for acne,100mg daily for about a week around 7 years ago or so. I immediately started feeling depressed and anxious within a few days and then it went downhill from there.. I started having panic attacks and didn’t want to live anymore. I couldn’t function and had to take leave from work. I was out of work. It took me over 2 months after stopping this horrific drug to start feeling normal again. At the time this happened I told several doctors including my psychiatrist and the dermatologist that prescribed the medication to me but nobody would listen and there were hardly any reports not even online at the time. YEARS LATER I still take Ativan and Cymbalta ever since this happened. I am so scared to stop because I never want to feel that way again.
If you think that Doxy is making you depressed than most likely it IS.. Stop taking immediately!
If anyone is currently experiencing this or wouldn’t mind contacting me to tell me how long it lasted and what their experience was. I am currently going through this. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve been taking doxycycline for scalp dermatitis for about 3 months now. I’ve had increasingly worse anxiety throughout the course of doxycycline. About a week ago I started to get suicidal ideation thoughts. I felt scared that I was going to drive my car into traffic. These thoughts were completely uncharacteristic of me. I like myself a lot and no reason to want to commit suicide or harm myself in any way. I went to a psychiatrist for severe anxiety and was prescribed anti-depressants. I am holding off on taking them for now. I stopped taking doxycycline yesterday and am hoping for a reduction in these symptoms soon. If I don’t see any progress, I am open to taking the anti-depressants for a while.
After doing a bit of research, I have a theory about why depression, sleep disturbances, and suicidal ideation occur while taking doxycycline for an extended period of time. I started to notice bad discomfort in my stomach area while experiencing these symptoms and believe that I have made a possible connection.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic which means that it kills both “good” and “bad” bacteria indiscriminately. Studies have shown that disrupting normal gut bacteria in mice by administering antibiotics caused changes in the protein that is associated with mood disorders. Apparently, bacteria in the gut strongly influenced behavior. This bacteria can be disrupted while taking antibiotics.
Furthermore, it is estimated that 90 percent of serotonin is found in the intestinal tract. Among other things, serotonin regulates mood and sleep. If the healthy balance of “good” bacteria is affected by taking antibiotics, it makes sense that serotonin levels would be negatively affected.
I came across an article that discusses using probiotics and prebiotics to repopulate the gut with “good” bacteria. There are several studies mentioned in that article about the connection between gut bacteria and brain health.
I’ve decided to take a supplement with prebiotics and probiotics to help the good bacteria repopulate after this extended course of antibiotics.
Here are the links to two of the articles that I referenced in the post:
I am a mother very concerned about my 20 year-old son’s sudden and alarming deterioration in mental health following a course of doxycycline. I have warned him never to take this drug again and have been looking for clues as to how exactly doxycycline may be affecting his mind and ways I might be able to help him. The information you supplied is very helpful. (I just wish this drug came with a mental health warning in the UK.) Thank you
My16 year old nephew recently tried to commit suicide after only 10 days of taking doxycycline. In addition to the assessment of those closest to him, who saw no warning signs of depression or suicide, he has been in psychiatric care and the doctor confirmed that his suicidal thoughts came on suddenly (days before the attempt) and escalated quickly on the morning it happened. The psychiatrist agrees doxycycline could have been a factor.
While it might not affect everyone who takes it the same way, it clearly is a danger to some people. Thank you to everyone who are sharing your stories because this could lead to more focus on the issue.
There is a huge body of research linking depression and anxiety to brain chemistry. Some comments on here, by supposed medical professionals, saying that a substance can’t cause these effects show a disturbing level of ignorance. It’s illogical to say an antidepressant can cure your depression but it’s impossible for another drug to cause your depression. Just because science hasn’t proven a link between doxycycline and depression/anxiety/suicide does not mean the drug doesn’t pose a serious risk to some people. Everything starts with anecdotal evidence. If there is enough evidence, only then do scientists study the problem and contribute a scientific conclusion. What if this drug legitimately affects a small percentage of the population who have predisposition to it? Are those people not important?
So… I’m adding one more case to the list. Do I have proof doxycycline causes suicide – no, but common sense tells me it’s not worth the risk, unless you are fighting a serious life threatening infection. If you can take something else, you should.
I started taking this medication and immediately got a bad attitude. For me, negativity is rare as I tend to always looks on the bright side of life. I thought more about bombs and massive destruction. I had a dream about my mother dying, the grief seemed too real. I felt like my marriage was coming to an end. While driving home from a family weekend, I counted endless ways to commit suicide based on the scenery. My family doctor seemed to think it was the steroids I was taking. I stopped the steroids four days ago and continue the prescribed doxycicline. I have three pills remaining and wonder if I can make it through. Unreal torment.
I am an Army Vet, and was supposed to take Doxy for 12 months while stationed overseas. After the first few days, I quit. It was immediate and I knew that it was the med. Never again. And I will tell anyone who will listen.
I was put on doxycycline for three weeks in an effort to fight Lyme (200mg a day). It’s been 36 hours since my last dosage and I am experiencing severe panic-attacks, anxiety, and deep depression.
Doxycycline severely affects gut-flora which in turn affects the gut-brain axis, and in extension mood.
Hi I started taking these a month ago to treat a minor skin rash . I stopped taking them three days ago as for the last 10 days I have suffered anxiety attacks and bad paranoia and they have been put me in a very dark place, I have a responsible well paid job and a wonderful wife and family and these tablets have slowly twisted my mind into thinking I was about to loose it all, I hope now I have stopped taking them that things can return to normal. It is scary how these tablets have played with my worse fears in my mind and made them appear true. When you feel what you value most appears to be slipping away from your grasp I can well understand why younger people have committed suicide while on these tablets. I have discussed my feelings with my wife as best I can and tried to convince myself that it is only the tablets causing me to feel like this but even now I am still struggling to remain positive, I hope in the coming days things will improve each day, if you are reading this it is because you too are suffering with these tablets my advise is stop taking them and tell your GP how you feel.
Would be good to get an update on how long it took for this to clear
Hello I currently feeling similar effects of of doxycycline, I had started the treatement a few months ago 2 (100mg ) per day and began to realize slight emotional blunting. I have now been off the medication for two weeks and the effects seem to be exponentially greater. It may be of some other external force But due to the fact I have never felt this emotional numbness. lack of motivation, fatigue, and overall suicidal thoughts I feel as if there may be a correlation. Furthermore I feel like this is having an effect on my grades. Due you have a suggestion for the course of action I should take ?
I was prescribed Doxycycline for a UTI and after only three doses, I was contemplating suicide. I am a generally happy person and have never entertained the idea of suicide because, quite frankly, it scares the crap out of me. I will never take it again!
I was just on this for inflammation after a routine check up. I am normally a pretty happy person. I rarely feel sad or lonely. After taking this for 5 days, I cried for two days straight. I knew something was off cuz I had no idea why I was so sad. I started feeling lonely and hopeless which is not like me at all. I did not even relate that it could be the antibiotic I was taking. I have since been off it for almost a week and feel like my old self again so I started thinking why I was so depressed a week ago and the only difference was the antibiotic I was taking. I googled it and came across this page and a few others that said similar things about this drug. I will be letting my Dr. know and not take this again in the future.
I am a 55 year old woman and was prescribed Doxycycline Hyclate 100mg for Lyme Disease. I took it twice a day for 30 days and stopped just yesterday. During the last week of treatment, I noticed how I started to feel depressed: I found everything and everyone to be irritating, and I just wanted to be left alone. Yesterday was my first day without the medication, and I spent the most awful night of my life: I experienced vivid suicidal thoughts, and felt an immense sense of depression. I browsed the Internet and noticed I was not alone! I am telling my story because I feel the company should absolutely list suicidal thoughts as a side effect of their drug, not only for adolescents, but for adults too. This way, family members and doctors could be warned and keep a close eye on every person to whom this drug is prescribed. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION, SO WE CAN PREVENT OTHER PEOPLE FROM TAKING THEIR OWN LIVES! https://www.change.org/p/doxycycline-causes-suicide-in-teens
# Post-treatment lyme disease syndrome
# Malaria prevention : Mefloquine toxicity
# Acne treatment : Isotretinoin (Accutane)
# Rosacea treatment : Dementia (Alzheimer’s disease)
# Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment
All of the above case “Doxycycline (or Minocycline or Doxorubicin) used first”.
# BSE : Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Prion diseases)
Tetracyclines are most used as growth promoters for livestock.
BSE and “Olney’s lesions” or “NMDA receptor antagonist neurotoxicity (NAN)” are similar.
We have already concluded.
I was prescribed Doxycycline for acne and within a week, I became extremely depressed, a real sadness. I just received my bachelor’s degree in Theology so I have no reason for depression. I stopped taking them after researching and within 2 days I was back to normal. This medication needs to be banned in my opinion and people need to warn others.
for some reason it has occurred to me to research any ties between doxy and depression. from 1997 – 1998 i regularly took the drug for lyme’s disease. i don’t think that i really was infected but that the doc thought that the drug would certainly knock it out if it was there. during this same period things between my then girl friend became very real: she was increasing insistent that we talk marriage, talk career and talk… grown up stuff, I guess. and it wasn’t that i wasnt in love with her, but that an old boy friend of her’s seemed to not be as out of her head as I think he ought to have been. the tension that stemmed from what would become of us became increasingly great. i didn’t want to loose her, i didn’t want him to win her, i didn’t want to be seen as less than him, i didn’t want to be a runner-up, consolation to her if he wouldn’t have her…. this was a constant dialogue in my head for many months, years, and beyond. i didn’t stay on doxy the whole time–a year, i think. i never thought of suicide; and the intensity of the relationship, its many flaws, my young self–our young selves–these all contribute to how depression could very well have set in without doxy. but the depression. i used to make fun of people who were depressed. like, just get over it. this same person became very depressed; functional–to a point–but badly depressed. it took the shape of self doubt, unable to finish large projects, stay organized, seek out sad music, remember the past and replay it again and again. did doxy start something that kept moving when the doxy was over and done with? surely the relationship drama did its damage (and yes, she ran off with him in 1999). doxy? really? maybe not: no kid could walk away from this drama and not be scarred by it. but i was on doxy…religiously. i took that big pill and i was proud to: like, i’m doing a grown up thing. did it mess me up…then, during of all times, the least stable periods, where it was all messed up already?
I’ve been put on this drug for pneumonia. I had a miscarriage which required surgery 9 days ago, and 2 days after that I developed chest pain which they diagnosed as pneumonia caused by the surgery. I’ve been getting so panicky and anxious, and I assumed it was grief and loss for the first few days but I feel so weird I’ve googled and found this thread. Not thinking about self harm but am having intrusive thoughts, nightmares, brain fog and a feeling of everything being pointless. I missed a dose accidentally and the GP suggested I take 2 at the next dose to make up for it. That was last night and today I’m in a lot of emotional pain and can barely think straight or function. Im sorry for the loss of loved ones whose stories are shared here.
This drug is evil. I’d never suffered with any anxiety issues until I took a course of Doxycycline. I turned into a person I didn’t recognise, almost overnight. Panic stricken, shaking arms, overwhelming thoughts, heart palpitations, the list goes on. I even ended up in hospital.
Thank goodness for this website. I have taken onboard the correlation between gut health and mental health and have embarked on a course of probiotics and foods that will hopefully restore the natural balance.
I would urge everyone to think seriously and do some research before taking this awful drug.
Started this med on October and took it for a week. Well it has ruined my life,doctors kerp telling me i am fine. I have vertigo,dizzines, aches, itchiness, pressure in the head and i became very upset! Anyone here has gotten better? If so how long it took? Please help me I have a 4 years old to raise.
You have to start taking probiotic and eat fermented food. You must restore the gut flora. A very good way to do this is to eat fermented foods, like sauerkraut (the fermented kind of course).
It helped me. After 10 days in hell, I am starting to feel almost like normal again.
Started treatment Thursday, took my first dose of 100mg at 20:00 that evening. Took my second at 08:00 Friday morning, then took it at 7:50 Friday night. Just took my first morning dose 45 minutes ago at 07:50.
Last night (Friday evening) seemed a bit off. Went out with my girlfriend, everything seemed fine. When I got back to my barracks room and was alone to myself for a bit, I started watching YouTube videos. Strange events have occurred since then.
First, I remembered a song by a band my friend loves. Listened to it, and felt a deep connection. I love music, but I’ve never been so drowned in a song before, almost as if I was in a trance of how inticing it felt to be alone listening to music.
Then I had the sudden idea to prank my roommate by faking an overdose. Laying on the floor in my underwear with foam coming out of my mouth, and a bottle in my hand with pills thrown out amongst the floor. I laughed and then thought about it, oddly for more than a normal me. LOL It gets weirder.
Skip forward. I eat a lot, a fuck load. All I want to do is stuff my face and look up politics that piss me off. I then proceed to get upset that my girlfriends not coming over. But these feelings subside around 12 or 01 in the morning.
I was just woken up around 07:00 from a horrid dream. A night terror if you will. It was the most vivid night terror I’ve had in years.
I looked up side effects for nightmares and found this thread! I’m actually interested in how it will further effect me. Perhaps I will be a Guinea pig you ladies and gents can pry and pick for information if you’d like.
I’m taking it for 7 days total, 2 doses 8 hours apart. Each dose 100mg.
I’m going to buy probiotics today to be proactive to the gut-axis health or whatever that $hits called, rather than reactive.
I was ready to commit my wife to an inpatient mental facility (for anxiety and depression like I’ve never seen) after her being on doxy for about 6 weeks. Before we did that, we had a last minute appointment with our PCP (who is huge in integrative medicine) and she insisted my wife’s serotonin levels had tanked due to the doxy (Rx was from a specialist). Check this article out: http://m.caltech.edu/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495
Wow!! I hope all is well now. I was prescribed Doxycycline 3 weeks ago for cystic acne and I seriously can’t stop crying. Negative thoughts constantly. I’m definitely stopping it. I’ll take bad skin instead of feeling emotionally shitty. I’m currently in nursing school and I’m so passionate on bringing good care to the medical field. Reading through these comments has only motivated me more. God is good!
My 17 year old son was prescribed Doxy for acne about 18 months ago. He originally did not take the drug as prescribed until he was getting ready for senior portraits over the summer. In October of last year, I found a letter written to him by a friend telling him he needs to seek professional help as they could not help him with his depression any longer. It turns out, my son was having severe anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts that he was hiding from my husband and I. It wasn’t until we found the letter that we were able to ask pointed questions. We were asking him all along but would just tell us he was tired. He was diagnosed with Major depressive disorder and general anxiety and has been on Zolift now since October 31, 2018.
We recently learned that doxy has had reports of these symptoms so I took him to his doctor yesterday. The doctor removed him from the medication and said he had heard similar concerns from other patients. I now feel like the worst parent ever for having him on that med for so long. He has never had any mental health issues and now he is on a long road to recovering from the prolonged effects of depression and anxiety.
I took Dozy just for 2 days in preparation to travel to a malaria prone country. I felt very unwell, weak and almost like I have fever already. I’m on medication for high blood pressure. I certainly don’t feel motivated to continue taking it. Is there a better anti malaria tablet out there pls? My trip is tomorrow.
I was researching this medication because I took the 1st pill and had mutiple nightmares that during the night someone or something was trying to kill me. Every time I’d wake and go back to sleep after recovering from fright the next dream was always a different situation. Morning I felt nauseous and gastrointestinal issues. Won’t be taking any more doxycycline.
My 14 year old son committed suicide on May 23, 2002. He had no history of depression or mental illness, but he had been treated for several months for acne with doxycycline. I still have his bottle of medication. I never associated his suicide with doxycycline as internet information in 2002 was much different than today. We were of course shocked and had no answers as there were zero warning signs prior to what I believe was an impulsive suicidal act. It wasn’t until several years later while doing some online research, that I came across the overwhelming information that links doxycycline and suicide. Today I can’t help but wonder, how many everyday-American-nonassuming parents are taking their teens to dermatologists for acne and being prescribed doxycycline and have no idea of the potential side effects – trusting that nothing would – or could – be prescribed to their child that might result in loss of life? It’s unbelievable that doxycycline continues to be prescribed to teens – or anyone for that matter – without warning.
My 14 year old son was prescribed Doxycycline for his acne for three months. He was taking 100mg once a day for two months when we discovered he had been cutting his arm. He broke down and said he had strong suicidal thoughts and had been planning to commit suicide with a date in mind. We discovered that these thoughts and cutting began 10 days into taking Doxycycline. He didn’t have a reason for wanting to kill himself and when asked he would say he didn’t know. The only thing that was different was the medication. We stopped it immediately and it took about two weeks before he said he felt better, didn’t feel depressed, and the urge to cut his arm was gone. However, the thoughts of suicide lingered.
My daughter is 12 and has been inpatient psych for days and is now doing a php program and I think her anxiety and suicide ideation were due to doxycycline that she has been taking for 10 weeks for acne. She did not have these thoughts prior to this medication.
My personal experience with doxycycline has been dreadful. I was first put on a low dose, shortly thereafter (that day) I experienced anxiety for no reason which wouldn’t abate. I persisted with the medication for 3 more days and it wouldn’t let up. I went to my GP who switched me to minocycline and I had no problems. I forgot about the whole experience then fast forward 3 years later, I was prescribed doxycycline by a different GP for an infection. I took 3 x 100mg tablets over 1.5 days and experienced a panic attack after the 3rd tablet. I ceased the doxy and have not had a problem since. Considering I had forgotten about my previous experience, it was a genuine challenge, re-challenge. Having been a former nurse, I am disappointed to read other healthcare professionals’ simply dismissing our personal experience. That is just asinine and you frankly need an attitude adjustment, shame on you. I know you are taught that anecdotal evidence is lowest in the evidence hierarchy but that is not sufficient to dismiss it out of hand. Research progresses slowly, listen to your patients!
I used doxycycline for nearly all of my teenage years for acne treatment. I had a lot of suicidal thoughts, attempts and depression in that time but pushed the blame to teenage hormone development.
I had been mostly alright for about 5 years with minimal negative thoughts or any suicidal intentions. Then I was prescribed doxycycline again about 3 years ago (26 years old) and within 3 months I had made an attempt on my life.
I didn’t come here looking for an excuse for my own mental health issues, but after reading this article and the mass of anecdotes I strongly believe there may be a moderately common mental health side effect from doxycycline.
26 year old male with epididymitis and I was given Doxy by my doctor. I don’t know if it did the trick or if I healed by myself through time, but after 2 weeks of taking Doxy, my mind felt it was about to implode.
Nausea, heart burn, dizziness, depression, achy bones, and these last days I was hearing voices and thinking thoughts while my brain felt an intense pressure. Stopped 2 days ago and I’m slowly recovering. I need a holiday after this…
Jo again to conclude how I feel after taking the last Doxy at 4:30 PM 31st of August 2020.
Now it’s 8th of September (8 days after) confirming that finally I feel I am completely removed from the direct side effects.
After days of head pressure, loss of sleep and the waves of anxiety, I finally got some sleep last night. I had to take a week off work to get this drama over with.
However, I am still fatigued and need to catch up on sleep and exercise, I can confirm that the worst of it is over. Thank God.
Conclusion: It took 8 days for me to be rid of Doxycycline from my body despite me never drinking alcohol, smoking, and while staying hydrated and eating probiotics like yoghurt.
8 longest days of my life.
A senior coroner has demanded action from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency after a student who had taken an antimalarial drug jumped from a plane to her death.
Alana Cutland, 19, a natural sciences student at Cambridge University, was doing an internship in Madagascar when she had several attacks of paranoia.
She had spoken to her parents and was about to fly home to the UK after cutting her internship short in July 2019 when she travelled in the Cessna light aircraft. She opened one of the plane’s doors and, despite attempts by the pilot and the other passenger to restrain her, leapt from the plane.
An inquest into her death determined that the cause was “traumatic injuries following a fall from a plane” but heard that she had been prescribed doxycycline as an antimalarial drug.
Tom Osborne, senior coroner for Milton Keynes, wrote in his inquest report, “The deceased was prescribed doxycycline as an antimalarial medication for use whilst in Madagascar. It was quite apparent from the evidence that she had a psychotic reaction as a result of taking the drug and yet there is nothing on the drug information leaflet that either highlights or mentions this possibility.
“If she or her parents had been aware of this possible side effect they may have been able to intervene earlier to avoid her death. In my view the information sent out with the drug should be reviewed. In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe . . . your organisation [has] the power to take such action.”
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that can also be used to prevent malaria. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website lists anxiety as a rare side effect but doesn’t mention psychotic reactions.
Coroners are under a duty to send reports, known as regulation 28 reports, to individuals or organisations they believe to be in a position to take action if their investigation reveals a risk that other deaths will occur in similar circumstances.
An MHRA spokesperson said it had been granted an extension to the deadline for replying to the coroner’s demand for action “in order to seek independent expert advice.” The spokesperson added, “We are currently reviewing the available evidence on the suspected association between doxycycline and psychotic disorder. This is because psychotic disorders are not currently a recognised side effect of this drug.
“We have informed the coroner that our review is ongoing, and any regulatory action will be communicated to healthcare professionals and patients. Malaria can be a very serious, sometimes fatal, infection. It is important that people travelling to areas that pose a risk of infection receive appropriate antimalarial prophylaxis.
“Doxycycline has been authorised for the prevention of malaria and also for the treatment of bacterial infections and skin disorders such as acne for over 50 years. During that time many millions of people have taken it. The balance of benefits and risks for doxycycline is considered to be positive. Patient safety is our highest priority so, as with all medicines, we keep the product information for doxycycline under review.”
As a reasonably stoic young person taking this as a malaria preventative, doxycycline gave me unbearable anxiety and depression. For three months of my life it was hell where I even cried for the first time in public.
I would like to add that my symptoms recovered to complete recovery after staying at home away from work with loving family. I seriously believe this trauma would not have resolved had I been sectioned in a facility- the symptoms I displayed likely would have resulted me being put on meds for life. I am now on the way to become a diplomat.
If you’re reading this and suffering symptoms please know that the worst will ultimately go away.