31 August 2010, by Dannie Cho

Them Little Green Capsules

So. Doxycycline. Little green capsules that I was supposed to take after food, in the morning and evening.

In my last post, I recounted the consternation caused when the wife told me that I was supposed to restrict my calcium intake while taking this antibiotic. No milk meant that my usual cereal breakfast was out of the question. And that was a bad, bad thing for my waistline, because I gravitated towards mooncakes for breakfast. Not those itsy-teeny slices when someone cuts a mooncake into eighths. I’m talking about whole mooncakes! Dannie does not like eating tiny slices. Not shiok!

Anyway, back to Doxycycline.

Doxycycline works by slowing the growth of bacteria in your body. Milk and other dairy products reduce the effectiveness of your body in absorbing this medicine, which defeats the purpose of taking the medicine in the first place! It’s like poking a hole in your condom before putting it on, you know what I mean?

But wait. I was curious about what sort of bacteria the good people at the hospital were worried about. Were they worried that my sperm might catch the flu bug that’s going around? That would certainly be problematic. The tiny ones would be swimming towards the eggs, then, “Aaaahhh-Choooo!”, and they get propelled backwards. Damned tiring.

I checked with my good friend Dr Google, and found that Doxycycline is indeed used to treat pneumonia! Wow. In addition to pneumonia, it’s also used to treat urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Which I don’t have. It can also be used to treat gum diseases and acne too. Sperm with pimples, anyone?

Throughout my entire week of taking Doxycycline, I was so fixated on not taking milk and other dairy products that I totally forgot about the other instruction on the medicine package – Thou shalt not lie around like a spineless snake.

Doxycycline needs to get to your stomach to do its work properly. You need to at least sit up straight for 30 mins after ingesting the capsule, so that gravity can do its work to bring the capsule to the stomach. Lying around prevents the capsule from reaching the stomach quickly enough, before the protective cover gets eaten away by your digestive juices. The medicine will then start working before reaching your stomach. Most times, it seems that it will cause throat irritation.

There were a couple of nights where I thought my throat felt rather sore. Nothing really serious though. So maybe it’s not a total deal-breaker.

That being said, all during this time, the wife has been following her own set of instructions (for injections) to the letter. Makes me feel kinda bad that I missed out on a set of instructions. Ah well… fingers crossed, it won’t make much of a difference!

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