The shortage of doxycycline recently announced by the Food and Drug Administration could leave many people searching for alternatives because the antibiotic is used to treat a wide range of conditions that afflict millions, including acne, bacterial infections, such as pneumonia and some sexually transmitted diseases, and Lyme disease. If that's the case for you, talk to your doctor about your options before you run out of medication, because you should be able to find a suitable replacement in most cases.
The shortage, which is due to increased demand and manufacturing delays, comes at a particularly bad time, because there's still an ongoing shortage of tetracycline, a member of the same drug class and an alternative to doxycycline. So people who need either drug have reduced options.
It's not clear when the doxycycline shortage will be resolved, but one manufacturer, West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, expects to have more available in a few weeks, according to the FDA.
In the meantime, if your local pharmacy can't fill your prescription for doxycyline or tetracycline, ask your doctor for a new prescription for a similar antibiotic called minocycline, which is available as a generic. Other possible alternative antibiotics include azithromycin, ceftriaxone, clindamycin, and metronidazole, depending on your condition.
We don't recommend purchasing medications online, as you could be putting yourself at risk for potential dangerous contaminated or counterfeit drugs.
Read more tips in our previous coverage of the tetracycline shortage.