About Doxycycline Acne Medicine

By Shelley Moore

  • Overview

    Doxycycline hyclate is an antibiotic used to treat acne in both teenagers and adults. A type of tetracycline invented and developed by Pfizer in the 1960s, it is used to treat many other conditions, diseases and infections as well. Doxycycline is sold as a generic pharmaceutical and under several brand names.
  • Function

    When acne does not respond to topical treatment, doctors sometimes prescribe oral antibiotics instead of, or in addition to, the skin therapy. A combination of doxycycline hyclate and topical retinoids, a type of vitamin A which reduces acne, is more effective than either treatment by itself. Oral antibiotics also are commonly prescribed as beginning treatment for severe acne. Doxycycline hyclate decreases bacterial colonies and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It has also been shown to be effective at reducing rosacea, a skin disease of adults in which facial blood vessels swell, resulting in facial redness.
  • Types

    People usually take 50 to 100 milligrams of doxycycline hyclate twice daily to treat acne. The time-released form, with the brand name Doryx, can be taken once a day. The extra benefit from Doryx is it does not start working until it reaches the small intestine, thus decreasing or eliminating any stomach upset that can be caused by doxycycline. Doryx, however, is more expensive than the generic form.

  • Considerations

    Users of doxycycline hyclate must consider various factors related to the drug. It can cause other medications to be less effective, including birth control pills, antacids, blood thinners, and vitamins. In contrast, the effectiveness of doxycycline can be decreased by milk and by supplements of iron, calcium or magnesium.
  • Side Effects

    Doxycycline causes sensitivity to light which can result in severe sunburn, so people should avoid spending excessive time in the sunlight, and should wear sunscreen while taking this drug. Other side effects are unusual and should be immediately reported to a physician. These include allergic reactions, rashes, itching, stomach cramps, diarrhea and nausea, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, weakness and abnormal bruising.
  • Warning

    Doxycycline should not be used during tooth development as it can cause permanent discoloration. People also should never use expired doxycycline because it can cause kidney damage. This medication also should not be used during pregnancy or while breast-feeding, as it inhibits a baby's normal growth.
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