The information provided below is for readers based in the United States of America. Readers outside of the United States of America should seek the information from local sources.

Limited information is available on the safety of doxycycline hyclate during pregnancy. Due to negative effects related to tooth discoloration and growth problems in infants exposed to other tetracycline antibiotics, it is generally recommended to avoid the use of doxycycline hyclate during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What is doxycycline hyclate?

Doxycycline hyclate is a tetracycline antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections.

What is doxycycline hyclate used to treat?

Doxycycline hyclate is an antibiotic used to treat Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, sexually transmitted infections, anthrax exposure, respiratory infections, and to prevent malaria, as well as for many off-label uses.

How does doxycycline hyclate work?

Doxycycline hyclate interferes with protein development in bacteria, causing the bacteria to die.

If I am taking doxycycline hyclate, can it harm my baby?

Tetracycline antibiotics do cross the human placenta to reach the developing baby. Most available information on doxycycline hyclate is during the first trimester of pregnancy. Doxycycline hyclate is not expected to cause birth defects, but further study is needed to determine the true risk of birth defects. Doxycycline hyclate can cause discoloration of infant teeth during second and third trimester use and may alter the growth of the developing baby with continued exposure.

If I am taking doxycycline hyclate and become pregnant, what should I do?

It is important that you speak with your doctor if you become pregnant while taking doxycycline hyclate.  Doxycycline hyclate is used to treat Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever during pregnancy, but it is not recommended as a first line antibiotic for other conditions during pregnancy.

If I am taking doxycycline hyclate, can I safely breastfeed my baby?

Doxycycline hyclate is expected to be excreted in breast milk. The estimated amount of medication reaching the breastfeeding infant is around 6% of the maternal dose. Potential concerns with doxycycline hyclate exposure in breastfeeding infants include changes in bacteria in the stomach, diarrhea, discoloration of developing teeth, and interference with growth, particularly with prolonged exposure. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers tetracycline, an antibiotic in the same antibiotic class as doxycycline hyclate, compatible with breastfeeding. The World Health Organization recommends avoiding breastfeeding while on this medication, but does state that up to one week on this medication while breastfeeding should be safe. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of continuing breastfeeding while taking doxycycline hyclate. Either breastfeeding or medication use are typically discontinued by women who are breastfeeding.

If I am taking doxycycline hyclate, will it be more difficult to get pregnant?

Doxycycline hyclate may affect male fertility. Doxycycline hyclate can affect the liver in pregnant women.

If I am taking doxycycline hyclate, what should I know?

It is important to speak with your doctor to determine if you should start or continue doxycycline hyclate therapy during pregnancy. Doxycycline hyclate is not considered a first line antibiotic for most conditions during pregnancy. Doxycycline hyclate should only be used for short-term (up to one week) of treatment during breastfeeding.

If I am taking any medication, what should I know?

This report provides a summary of available information about the use of tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Content is from the product label unless otherwise indicated.

You may find Pregistry's expert reports about infections here,  and reports about the individual medications used to treat infections here.   Additional information can also be found in the resources below. 

For more information about doxycycline hyclate during and after pregnancy, contact (800-994-9662 [TDD: 888-220-5446]) or check the following link:

Aquapharm:  Acticlate Prescribing Information

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Last Updated: 01-03-2019
General information

It is very common for women to worry about having a miscarriage or giving birth to a child with a birth defect while they are pregnant. Many decisions that women make about their health during pregnancy are made with these concerns in mind.

For many women these concerns are very real. As many as 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and 1 in 33 babies are born with a birth defect. These rates are considered the background population risk, which means they do not take into consideration anything about the health of the mom, the medications she is taking, or the family history of the mom or the baby’s dad. A number of different things can increase these risks, including taking certain medications during pregnancy.

It is known that most medications, including over-the-counter medications, taken during pregnancy do get passed on to the baby. Fortunately, most medicines are not harmful to the baby and can be safely taken during pregnancy. But there are some that are known to be harmful to a baby’s normal development and growth, especially when they are taken during certain times of the pregnancy. Because of this, it is important to talk with your doctor or midwife about any medications you are taking, ideally before you even try to get pregnant.

If a doctor other than the one caring for your pregnancy recommends that you start a new medicine while you are pregnant, it is important that you let them know you are pregnant.

If you do need to take a new medication while pregnant, it is important to discuss the possible risks the medicine may pose on your pregnancy with your doctor or midwife. They can help you understand the benefits and the risks of taking the medicine.

Ultimately, the decision to start, stop, or change medications during pregnancy is up to you to make, along with input from your doctor or midwife. If you do take medications during pregnancy, be sure to keep track of all the medications you are taking.