Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol While Taking Doxycycline?

Doxycycline is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of antibiotics called tetracyclines. 

It can treat a wide range of bacterial infections (broad-spectrum), including UTIs, skin infections, Lyme disease, STIs, acne, and more.

You may wonder whether it is safe to drink alcohol with doxycycline. 

Keep reading to learn more.

Can you drink alcohol while taking doxycycline?

When it comes to taking alcohol with doxycycline, many healthcare providers advise against it. 

If you must consume alcohol, limit yourself to a small amount while you are on doxycycline to minimize potential interactions.

But, in people who have been drinking for a while or who drink too much, doxycycline may cause an interaction. 

It is not recommended to drink alcohol with doxycycline or any other antibiotic, particularly if you are a heavy drinker

So, how much alcohol is too much? Following National Dietary guidelines, men are advised not to exceed 2 drinks a day or a total of 14 drinks in a week, while women should limit their intake to 1 drink a day or a total of 7 drinks in a week.

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What happens if you drink alcohol on doxycycline?

Reduced effectiveness

Consuming a small amount of alcohol with doxycycline may not impact you significantly if you do not regularly drink.

But, long-term intake of alcohol may affect the potency of the drug. This may tamper with its ability to treat infections.

Liver problems

Chronic alcohol use can cause liver problems, leading to damage. If you have a damaged liver, it may be difficult for your liver to detoxify doxycycline. This can further damage your liver.

Kidney damage

When you drink alcohol while on doxycycline, your kidneys are at risk of kidney damage. 

If you have impaired kidney function, your body may find it hard to clear out some of the drugs out of your body. 

Your kidneys may not also be able to regulate fluid properly in your body. 

While most evidence on the effects of alcohol on doxycycline comes from studies on lab rats, there is insufficient evidence in humans. Further research is required in this area.

Worse hangover

If you are drunk while on some medications, you may have worse hangover symptoms.

Reduced immunity

Alcohol can also affect your immune system. It is best to avoid it while you are trying to treat an infection.

How long after taking doxycycline can I drink alcohol?

It is safe to reintroduce alcohol into your routine at least 2 days after your last dose of doxycycline.

You should not have any problems if you take a small amount of alcohol while taking doxycycline. The issue is with taking too much alcohol. 

Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about the effects.

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Does alcohol cancel out antibiotics?

Limited alcohol consumption with most antibiotics typically does not affect their efficacy. 

But, when you take too much of it, you are more likely to get certain side effects which can be serious. 

It is safer to avoid alcohol completely. If you are not sure which antibiotics can cause an adverse reaction, ask your doctor. 

If you take other drugs with alcohol, you may also have adverse effects. Examples are illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, ketamine, and antacids. 


Doxycycline is an antibiotic with many uses. It can treat many different bacterial infections and other diseases. 

Like any other drug, you may get drug interactions with doxycycline if you take it with alcohol. 

Usually, a little alcohol would not cause any harm. But if you drink too much, you may have an increased risk of getting adverse effects. 

Contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

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10 Doxycycline Side Effects and How To Manage Them.


  1. Patel RS, Parmar M. Doxycycline Hyclate. [Updated 2023 May 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-.
  2. Mergenhagen KA, Wattengel BA, Skelly MK, Clark CM, Russo TA. Fact versus Fiction: a Review of the Evidence behind Alcohol and Antibiotic Interactions. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Feb 21;64(3):e02167-19. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02167-19. PMID: 31871085; PMCID: PMC7038249.
  3. Epstein M. Alcohol’s impact on kidney function. Alcohol Health Res World. 1997;21(1):84-92. PMID: 15706766; PMCID: PMC6826793.
  4. Alonzo MM, Lewis TV, Miller JL. Disulfiram-like Reaction With Metronidazole: An Unsuspected Culprit. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Sep-Oct;24(5):445-449. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-24.5.445. PMID: 31598109; PMCID: PMC6782120.

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