Antibiotics for Acne

Oral antibiotics works by reducing the population of the bacteria that causes inflammation of the oil glands. Some antibiotics have anti-inflammatory action which could reduce the swelling and redness of a pimple. This product is very effective in reducing papules and pustules. Antibiotics should not be taken for very long periods of time because of its side effects and bacterial resistance.

Tetracycline – The usual dose is 500mg twice daily. This is the most prescribed antibiotic for acne. To maximize the effectiveness of this product, take it on an empty stomach. Tetracycline is low cost and have less side effects compared to other antibiotics.

Minocycline – The usual dose is 50 to 100mg twice daily. This is a derivative of tetracycline and it is useful for pustular acne. This antibiotic may cause discoloration of skin and teeth during prolonged use.

Doxycycline – The usual dose is 50 to 100mg twice daily. It is used for patients who is not responding to tetracycline or erythromycin. This antibiotic should always be taken with food to avoid nausea. Doxycycline is more likely to cause photosensitivity or sunburns compared to Tetracycline.

Erythromycin – Typical dose is 250-500mg twice daily. Aside from its antibacterial action, this product also provides an anti-inflammatory action. It reduces the redness and inflammation of acne lesions. Erythromycin can also be taken with food.

Clindamycin – Usual dose is 75 to150mg twice daily. Oral clindamycin users are at an increased risk of pseudomembranous colitis.

Trimethoprim – This antibiotic is originally used as a treatment for urinary track infection.

Azithromycin – Standard dosage is at 250mg three times a week. This antibiotic is prescribed for anyone who is unable to tolerate tetracycline, erythromycin, minocycline, and doxycycline.

Side Effects

Allergy – antibiotics may cause rashes on susceptible individuals.

Photosensitivity – people taking doxycycline may make their skin more susceptible to sunburn

Gastrointestinal disturbance – upset stomach and diarrhea is typical

Bacterial resistance – use of a specific antibiotic for long periods of time results into decreased effectiveness because of bacterial resistance.

” Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance can cause significant danger and suffering for people who have common infections that once were easily treatable with antibiotics. When antibiotics fail to work, the consequences are longer-lasting illnesses; more doctor visits or extended hospital stays; and the need for more expensive and toxic medications. Some resistant infections can cause death.”
( source: Date: August 6, 2007
Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases/Division of Bacterial Diseases )

Antibiotics may cause vaginal yeast infection


Antibiotics Used to Treat Acne From Heather Brannon, MD, Your Guide to Skin & Beauty. “ Health’s Disease and Condition content” (reviewed by Kate Grossman, MD) “Author: Dr Amanda Oakley MB ChB FRACP, Dept of Dermatology Health Waikato” (last update Dec. 25. 2006)

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