Doxycycline ramp-up time - sanity check
September 15, 2013 10:02 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are traveling in Malaysia at the moment (and going on to Thailand afterwards), and brought along prescriptions for Doxycycline for Malaria protection. Doxy takes some time to start taking effect, can I get a sanity check on our instructions?

The label on the bottle says to start the daily regimen two days before entering a Malarial region, and continue for four weeks afterwards. However, info online seems to assume a week or two of lead-in time.

We started the regimen Saturday, and are hoping to go hiking further inland on Tuesday (dramatically increasing our potential exposure). Is there a reasonable chance the prescription instructions are wrong, and we're not actually protected?
posted by Riki tiki to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
IANAD but 1-2 days before travel is the way I've always taken doxy. Mefloquine and chloroquine are the ones you need to take a week ahead of time. You should be fine.
posted by theodolite at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2013

I'm not a doctor. Whenever I've been prescribed doxycycline as an antimalarial, I've been instructed to begin taking the drug one or two days before entering a malarial area. That's consistent with CDC guidelines.

I'd be less worried about malaria, and more worried about sunburn — doxy can dramatically increase photosensitivity. Wear sunscreen.
posted by Sfving at 11:08 AM on September 15, 2013

Also you probably know this, but take doxy with plenty of fluid. I used it for prophylaxis when in Cambodia years ago, and had some wicked GI issues when I took it before breakfast. Didn't get malaria tho!
posted by maryrussell at 8:05 PM on September 15, 2013

1-2 days before, and 4 weeks afterward are the standard instructions I've always received and followed for doxy.
posted by solotoro at 7:34 AM on September 16, 2013

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