As the visual creatures that we are, treating a skin condition with an oral tablet can sometimes feel a bit like an oxymoron. After all, dry hands are treated with moisturisers, sunburn with aloe vera, and cuts and grazes with ointments and creams.
So, when we see acne, we can often assume that a topical treatment will be what works best.
Cleansers or serums or medicated washes might start to fill your shopping cart, and while in many cases these can be just what the doctor ordered, acne is a skin disease, and sometimes treating it is best done from the inside out, not the outside-in.
In these cases, your practitioner may prescribe you a bit of antibiotic resistance in the form of doxycycline sandoz.
This medication has been used to treat acne and other bacterial infections for 70 years, but how do you know if it's right for you? And how do you know what to do if you have a drug reaction?
What is doxycycline sandoz used for?
Doxycycline sandoz is an antibiotic belonging to the tetracycline family. It's been around since the 1950s , so is a tried-and-tested medication used in treating:
- Certain infections
- Acne breakouts
- A particular strand of malaria
- Anthrax infection or exposure to Anthrax 
How does doxycycline work for acne?
Doxycycline sandoz works by putting a stop to, or destroying, the growth of bacteria which can cause infection or worsen an acne outbreak .
How long does doxycycline take to work for acne?
In cases of acne, a prescription for doxycycline will generally last for 12 weeks.
One study found that when paired with a topical treatment, most people experienced a significant reduction of inflammatory lesions and nodules by week 4, making it an effective and fairly fast-acting treatment for acne .
What are the most common side effects of doxycycline?
Given the broad strength of doxycycline sandoz as an antibiotic, it does have a range of side effects that range from common to more serious to rare and very serious.
The most common side effects include:
- Thrush, either oral or vaginal
- Skin rash or itching
- Changes to, or weakened nails
- Upset stomach, mild diarrhoea or vomiting
- Difficulty in swallowing or mild irritation of the food pipe
- Loss of taste
- Ringing of the ears
- Depression, anxiety or nervousness
- Muscle tenderness or weakness not caused by exercise
While these side effects are not unusual, if you have any concerns about them, you should speak to your practitioner.
While rare, some patients may also develop more serious side effects where their body reacts badly to doxycycline sandoz.
In these cases, you may experience:
- Increased pressure in the head with headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and vomiting
- Severe blisters and bleeding around the mouth, eyes and genitals
- Severe skin reactions, which start as large painful red patches and turn into blisters
- Severe diarrhoea
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Fast heart rate
- Frequent bruising
- Passing less urine
- Severe upper stomach pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting
- Symptoms of allergic reaction such as shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing, swelling of the face, rash, itching or hives
- Fever, chills, muscle pain or worsening of skin rash 
These symptoms can be indicative of a more serious condition, and in some cases, even life-threatening conditions.
If you feel yourself starting to experience any of them, you should speak to a healthcare professional immediately or go straight to the emergency department at your nearest hospital.
What to know before you start taking doxycycline sandoz
Before you start taking doxycycline sandoz, it's important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider and let them know if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
You should let them know if:
- You are taking any other medicines, including birth control pills, or any medicines or vitamins that you can get without a prescription from your pharmacist, supermarket or local health food shop
- You have, or have ever had, any other health problems
- You are scheduled to have surgery under general anaesthetic
- You work outdoors or are exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light
- You are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant
- You are breastfeeding or planning on using your breast milk 
All of these factors can either interfere with or be interfered with by doxycycline sandoz.
In order to treat infections, including acne, safely and positively, tell your healthcare provider to give them the tools to give you the best medical advice.
How to take doxycycline sandoz
Doxycycline sandoz should be swallowed whole in the prescribed, correct dose with a full glass of water or milk while standing upright.
Stay sitting, standing or walking around for at least half an hour after swallowing to avoid irritating your food pipe. In other words, no lying down or swimming.
You should also avoid taking doxycycline on an empty stomach as it can upset your digestion and aim to have a scheduled dose by taking it at the same time each day to maximise its effectiveness .
What happens if I miss a dose?
Don't panic! While skipping doses is not ideal, taking a double dose can have far worse ramifications. If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember and then continue to take it as you ordinarily would.
If you don't remember until it's almost time for your next scheduled dose though, skip the one you missed and don't try to make it up as this can increase the risk of a negative side effect .
If you double dose and start to experience symptoms of an overdose, talk immediately to your doctor or call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 in Australia or the emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Things to be careful of
There are a few things to be mindful of when taking doxycycline sandoz. In particular, doxycycline sandoz has been found to increase photosensitivity, meaning you're more likely to experience severe sunburn as a result of taking it.
In these cases, being extra careful while out in the sun and wearing protective clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses is recommended .
You should also be mindful of drinking alcohol while on doxycycline as alcohol can interfere with the medication and stop it from properly working . Vomiting and diarrhoea from having too much to drink can also weaken the effect of doxycycline and other antibiotics and medicines, including the birth control pill.
If you have any questions about this, speak to your healthcare provider.
Is doxycycline sandoz a prescription medication?
Yes, doxycycline sandoz requires a valid Australian prescription in order to be purchased and used.
How to get doxycycline online?
Doxycycline can be purchased online in Australia by completing an online assessment. A registered healthcare practitioner will review your answers and recommend a treatment that's most appropriate for you.
After a prescription is issued, it'll then be passed to a pharmacy for dispensing.