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Acne is caused by the effects of hormones on the pilosebaceous unit, consisting of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and a hair. The follicle becomes obstructed and an overgrowth of a normal skin bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, causes destruction of the lining of the follicle. This process allows follicular material to enter the dermis, causing an inflammatory response. 
Acne tends to run in families. It may be triggered by:

-Hormonal changes related to puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth  control pills, or stress
-Greasy or oily cosmetic and hair products
-Certain drugs (such as steroids, testosterone, estrogen, and phenytoin)
-High levels of humidity and sweating

Research does not show that chocolate, nuts, and greasy foods cause acne. However, diets high in refined sugars may be related to acne.


➨ ➨ Erythromycin

Erythromycin is a very commonly used antibiotic for acne. It has several advantages over tetracycline. First, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness in lesions, in addition to killing bacteria. Also, it can and should be taken with food - a benefit for teenagers. The dosage of erythromycin varies with the type used, but it is typically prescribed as 250 - 500 mg twice a day. It can cause stomach upset and nausea, but can be used in pregnant women.

➨ ➨ Minocycline

Minocycline is a tetracycline derivative that has been used effectively for decades as a treatment for acne. It is especially useful for pustular type acne. While the absorption of minocycline is decreased with food, it is not as significant as the decrease seen with tetracycline. The usual starting dose is 50 to 100 mg twice a day. Major side effects of minocycline include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, skin pigmentation changes, and tooth discoloration. The skin and tooth changes are seen more often in people who have taken minocycline for a long time.

➨ ➨ Doxycycline

Doxycycline is often used for people who do not respond to or cannot tolerate erythromycin or tetracycline. The dosage of doxycycline is started at 50 to 100 mg twice a day. It should be taken with food; otherwise it can cause significant nausea. Doxycycline is more likely than tetracycline to increase sensitivity to the sun, or cause sunburns.

➨ ➨ Clindamycin

Clindamycin is very useful as an oral antibiotic for acne, but it is most widely prescribed as a topical antibiotic. The starting dose is 75 to 150 mg twice a day. The major side effect of clindamycin therapy is serious intestinal infection called pseudomembranous colitis caused by the bacteria, Clostridium difficile.

➨ ➨ ➨ TETRACYCLINE - available at Mary Chiles Hospital Department of Dermatology. Gastambide, Manila. Near UE Manila College of Dentistry.


Tetracycline is the most widely prescribed antibiotic for acne. The usual starting dose is 500 mg twice a day continued until a significant decrease in acne lesions is seen. The dose can then be decreased to 250 mg twice a day or discontinued. The main drawback for this antibiotic is that it must be taken on an empty stomach to be the most effective. For a teenage boy who eats frequently, this can be very difficult. Tetracycline should not be given to pregnant women or children under 9 years of age.

With the large number of adult as well as teens suffering from varying degrees of acne, it has become imperative to find a treatment product that is both effective, cost efficient and works without significant side effects. Tetracycline is an oral antibiotic that is commonly used as an acne treatment. In most cases, tetracycline is used only to treat moderate to severe acne; as compared to over the counter topical agents which are used in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. A number of clinical studies have been conducted in order to determine whether tetracycline is effective in treating varying degrees and forms of acne and specifically how effective this treatment is when compared to other acne treatment products such as topical agents including benzoyl peroxide and other oral antibiotics.

A study conducted at the General Infirmary in Leeds, UK determined that tetracycline is as effective in treating acne as a 5% benzoyl peroxide topical treatment in cases of mild to moderate acne. The study was conducted over a period of 12 weeks in which 69 patients who suffered from facial as well as chest and back acne were separated into 3 groups and administered doses of topical tetracycline, benzoyl peroxide or oral oxytetracycline. The 250 mg dosage of oral oxytetracycline was the only treatment shown in the study to show any improvement in back acne.

Even as early as 1976, oral tetracycline was shown to produce significant improvements of acne. During a 12 week study, oral tetracycline was showed to produce significant improvement after 4 weeks of treatment compared to topical tetracycline; which produced significant improvement beginning only at the 7 week mark during the 12 week study.

It should be noted that while antibiotics such as tetracycline have historically proven to be effective in treating even moderate to severe forms of acne; there exists the strong possibility for a drug resistance to occur. This means that after a period of use, the patient’s body may build up a resistance or immunity to the oral antibiotic; rendering it virtually useless. Furthermore, studies indicate that there may be serious side effects related to the use of tetracycline as a treatment for acne.

➨ ➨ ➨ TETRALYSAL (lymecycline) -available in selected Mercury Drug outlets but quiet expensive.

Tetralysal 300 capsules contain the active ingredient lymecycline, which is a type of medicine called a tetracycline antibiotic. It is used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

Lymecycline works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to produce proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, multiply and increase in numbers. Lymecycline therefore stops the spread of the infection and the remaining bacteria are killed by the immune system or eventually die.

Lymecycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic that is active against a wide variety of bacteria. However, some strains of bacteria have developed resistance to this antibiotic, which has reduced its effectiveness for treating some types of infection.

Lymecycline is still used to treat infections caused by chlamydia (eg the chest infection psittacosis, the eye infection trachoma, and the genital infection urethritis) and infections caused by mycoplasma organisms (eg pneumonia). Lymecycline can be used to treat flare-ups of chronic bronchitis, due to its activity against the bacteria usually responsible, Haemophilus influenzae.

Lymecycline is also used to treat other rarer infections, such as those caused by a group of micro-organisms called rickettsiae (eg Q fever, Rocky mountain spotted fever) and those caused by Brucella bacteria (brucellosis).

Lymecycline is also used to treat acne, as it is active against the bacteria associated with acne, Propionebacterium acnes. This is a common type of bacteria that feeds on sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It produces waste products and fatty acids that irritate the sebaceous glands, making them inflamed and causing spots. By controlling bacterial numbers, lymecycline brings the inflammation of the sebaceous glands under control and allows the skin to heal.

To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to lymecycline your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example a swab from the infected area, or a urine, sputum or blood sample.


You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to the ff. medicines mentioned above or to other tetracycline antibiotics such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

To make sure you can safely take these medicines, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

liver disease;
kidney disease;
asthma or sulfite allergy; or

Iif you are also using a penicillin antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Dispermox, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen).


➨ DISCLAIMER: The following drugs and medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of Acne. This service should be used as a supplement to, and NOT a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners.


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