Acne Treatment Journal

Tetracycline Antibiotic Drug Information
A guide to "tetracycline", an antibiotic used to treat acne, including side effects, patient precautions & usage tips.

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Tetracycline is by far the most prescribed antibiotic for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

It is available in both topical cream or gels and as orally taken pills.

Antibiotics such as tetracycline work by reducing the number of active P. Acnes bacteria cultures on the skin.

Tetracycline is usually paired with a topical retinoid such as Retin-A, Differin Gel, or Tazorac to help the skin renew itself more quickly and reduce the number of comedones and inflammatory acne lesions.

Tetracycline pills must be taken on an empty stomach in order for the drug to be fully effective. This can pose as a challenge for most young adults who eat and snack frequently throughout the day.


Some of the brand name drugs that contain the antibiotic tetracycline include Meclan, Topicycline, Achromycin, and Aueromycin.

Tetracycline is usually prescribed first in a strong 500 milligram twice daily dosage to knock out the majority of your acne lesions and then the dosage is reduced to 250mg twice daily to maintain the skin's improvement.

Some of the common but mild side effects of topical tetracycline include stinging, redness, burning, peeling, itchiness and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Any allergic reaction would indicate a severe side effect that would require stopping use of the medication.

The possible mild side effects of orally taken tetracycline pills include nausea, headache, stomach cramp, and vomiting. Most people find that these side effects don't occur if tetracycline is taken with a full glass of water on an empty stomach as recommended.

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