Doxycycline is a type of antibiotic used to treat a range of bacterial infections, including skin infections, eye infections, respiratory infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and more.
Doxycycline is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics out there, and if you’ve just been given a short course, you may be wondering if it’ll interfere with your weed consumption.
Well, good news – it won’t! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the links between Doxycycline, answer some of your most common questions, and ultimately discern how safe it is for you to combine the two.
Is Doxycycline Good For Smokers?
In short, smoking weed, tobacco, or anything else while taking Doxycycline will not interfere with your treatment. You won’t experience any negative reactions, so most users will continue to smoke throughout their course.
Although marijuana and smoking in general won’t interfere with this drug, most medical professionals will advise you DON’T smoke while taking any antibiotic, including Doxycycline.
This is because smoking can have a direct, negative impact on the immune system, increasing the risk of disease and impairing the body’s natural ability to fight off infections. If you smoke, your respiratory system will be the most vulnerable.
When you smoke, you’ll also cause inflammation within your body. This can lead to chronic inflammation and increase the risk of developing an autoimmune disease.
In short, smoking is not good for smokers – but taking Doxycycline while you smoke isn’t any more dangerous.
However, there is some concern that because smoking damages your immunity, your body’s ability to fight off infections will be impaired if you smoke and take Doxycycline.
This is because antibiotics such as Doxycycline can also disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, which is thought to cause a weakened immune response.
In other words, your body will be more vulnerable than normal. Smoking while in this state may increase your chance of becoming ill with a separate illness or infection.
What Drugs Interfere With Doxycycline?
Although cannabis isn’t thought to interfere with Doxycycline, there are plenty of other drugs that are proven to interact with this antibiotic.
If you’re taking any of the medications listed below, you should talk to a medical professional before starting a course of Doxycycline, as you may be at increased risk of experiencing a reaction.
If you’re taking anticoagulants, Doxycycline may increase your chances of excess bleeding. This is especially true for anticoagulants such as enoxaparin and heparin.
Birth Control Pills
Doxycycline is thought to reduce the efficacy of some birth control pills. You’re advised to use another form of contraception while taking Doxycycline to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
If you’re taking an antacid that contains calcium, magnesium, or aluminum, there’s a chance that Doxycycline may not be absorbed as efficiently into your body.
Although you can still take antacids with this antibiotic, you’re advised to wait at least two hours before or after consumption to take Doxycycline.
Like antacids, iron supplements may also impede the absorption of Doxycycline, and make your antibiotic treatment less effective.
You can still take your iron supplements, but you should wait at least two hours before or after consumption before administering a dose of Doxycycline.
If your vitamin supplements contain the ingredients we listed in antacids, like aluminum, magnesium, calcium and iron, your body is likely to struggle to absorb Doxycycline as efficiently.
We’d advise waiting a few hours before or after taking your vitamin supplement to take this antibiotic or swap your usual brand for a supplement that doesn’t contain these vitamins or has them in low doses.
Warfarin is a commonly prescribed blood thinner, however, Doxycycline may increase its effects, putting you at increased risk of bleeding. Talk to a medical professional before taking warfarin alongside this antibiotic.
Can I Smoke On My Antibiotic?
Although smoking cigarettes while taking antibiotics won’t cause a negative interaction, it can harm your immune system, and make you more susceptible to illness.
When it comes to cannabis consumption, research in the area is limited. Smoking weed may interfere with the efficacy of some antibiotics, as it’s thought to affect the way the liver metabolizes certain medications. However, it’s unclear exactly what kind of effects this could have.
If you want to continue taking cannabis alongside your antibiotics, you should consult a healthcare provider for more information.
They’ll be able to give you a clearer picture of the risks and benefits of combining the two and make you aware of any potential interactions known with your antibiotic that you can look out for.
What Are The Risks Of Using Cannabis While Taking Antibiotics?
Although cannabis doesn’t tend to interact with antibiotics, there is some risk that it will produce unwanted side effects.
Cannabinoids use the same metabolic pathway as other prescription drugs, including antibiotics. However, we’re still not sure exactly what these effects may look like for each individual.
Now, while this isn’t likely to cause a life-threatening interaction, there’s still a risk that you may experience a reaction.
It’s important to note that research into this area is limited, so we’re still learning more about the full effects of these two substances in our systems.
THC is thought to be the main culprit in cannabis. Some users report experiencing more side effects between cannabis and antibiotics when they use strains high in THC.
These side effects could include headaches, nausea, and stomach upset. However, whether this is a direct result of the interactions between cannabis and the antibiotic remains unclear.
It’s also important that every person reacts differently to both cannabis and antibiotics. While some may be able to combine these substances without issue, others may experience more unpleasant side effects.
There’s also no way to gauge the long-term effects of combining cannabinoids with antibiotics.
In essence, there may be some risks. But, from what we know, these are minimal, and it’s generally considered safe to consume cannabis while taking an antibiotic (Also check out Is It Safe To Use Cannabis After Surgery?).
If you have any concerns about combining these substances, you should talk to a medical professional for more information, or temporarily cease your cannabis consumption while taking antibiotics.
Can You Have Beer While On Doxycycline?
If you’re taking any antibiotic, including Doxycycline, your healthcare provider will usually advise against consuming any type of alcohol, including beer.
Alcohol, including beer, is thought to interfere with the efficiency of the antibiotic, and it could even cause some unpleasant side effects, including:
- Stomach upset
To ensure your antibiotic works efficiently, and to avoid an adverse reaction, you should stay away from all alcohol (including beer) while taking antibiotics.
Why Does Alcohol Interfere With Antibiotics?
When combined, alcohol and antibiotics can have some pretty significant effects on the body. These substances usually interact because of the way they’re metabolized in our liver.
When we consume alcohol, it’s broken down in our liver by a unique collection of enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH), and aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH).
These enzymes will work together to convert the alcohol into something called acetaldehyde – this is a toxic substance that can cause adverse side effects.
Eventually, acetaldehyde continues to be broken down into a variety of safe compounds that can be effectively discharged from the body.
With antibiotics, it’s a little different. Antibiotics are also metabolized by various enzymes in our liver, however, the way they’re broken down will depend on the kind of antibiotic they are.
When you drink alcohol alongside an antibiotic, you’ll be interrupting the processes of these enzymes, ultimately, putting more strain on your liver until it struggles to break down both substances at once.
When this happens, you’re at increased risk of experiencing dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, even liver damage.
Even if some antibiotics don’t cause these symptoms when combined with alcohol, they’re likely to be less effective.
Alcohol will usually limit how much antibiotic is absorbed into your system, which means you could be facing a longer recovery time, and more unpleasant side effects along the way.
Remember: not all antibiotics are made equal. Some may be safe to have alongside small amounts of alcohol, while others may cause more severe reactions.
If you want to learn more about the interactions between your antibiotic and alcohol, talk to a medical professional for more information.
The Bottom Line
Although the research on cannabis and antibiotic consumption is still in its infancy, it’s generally considered safe to combine cannabis and Doxycycline.
You’re not going to experience a life-threatening interaction, but at worse, you may experience a few unpleasant side effects, including nausea.
Remember: everyone is different. While some patients may be able to combine the two without issue, others may have a few side effects. Combine cannabis and Doxycycline at your own risk.
As smoking can harm the immune system, you may want to swap your usual joint or blunt for a low-dose edible while on antibiotics. Talk to a healthcare provider for more information.
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