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Oral Antibiotics: Doxycycline

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic, which is used to treat acne. It is the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that are important, if your inflamed pimples do not respond well to topical acne antibiotics, or if you have acne on many areas of your body, antibiotics in pill form can be more effective, easier to take, and more convenient.

How Do I Use This Medication?

This can be taken with food, it is easily absorbed, but you should not take it with antacids, calcium, iron, or magnesium. You should not take this drug during pregnancy and you should avoid taking it while breast feeding.

How Well Does It Work?

In acne you will see about a 15-25% improvement in the number of inflamed pimples each month, it works much faster for rosacea.

How Does It Work?

This is bacteriostatic, that is, it inhibits the growth of bacteria. It has a broad spectrum, and is effective for retarding the growth of several different strains. It is part of the tetracycline family, and is used for syphilis, gonorrhea, Lyme’s disease, and to prevent malaria.

Will There Be Side Effects?

This antibiotic will make your skin sensitive to the sun so that it will sunburn more easily, you will need to use sun protection. You may experience gastrointestinal (GI) upsets such as indigestion and diarrhea.

Candidiasis, such as a vaginal yeast infection, is more common, as is an increase in yeast infections of the mouth. You should not use doxycycline for children under the age of 12, because there is a risk of staining their teeth.

Can I Take Other Medications?

Avoid cholestyramine, as this will reduce the absorption of doxycycline in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore make it less effective. Taking doxycycline may reduce the blood levels phenytoin and barbiturates.

Which Brands Are Available?

  • Vibramycin® (Pfizer)
  • Monodox® (Oclassen)
  • Generic Doxycycline
  • T-Stat® (Westwood-Squibb)
  • Theramycin Z®
  • Statacin®
  • Stievamycin® (Stiefel)
  • Sans Acne® (tretinoin+erythromicin) (Galderma)
  • Benzamycin® (benzoyl peroxide+erythromycin) (Dermik)