Doxycycline and potassium tablets can cause ulceration and severe burning of the esophagus if they get stuck and dissolve in that location. Gelatin capsules pose a heightened risk because they can adhere to the wall of the esophagus. To prevent this significant adverse effect, try the following:
•Include directions in the prescription to “take with 8 oz of water.”
•Tell patients not to lie down for 30 minutes after taking these medications.
•Ask the pharmacist to dispense coated tablets instead of gelatin capsules.
—— Richard A. Honaker, MD