Oral and Topical Antibiotics for Rosacea


Tetracycline is an oral antibiotic used in the treatment of bacterial infections including acne, rosacea, chlamydia, gonorrhea, urinary tract infections, and intestinal and respiratory tract infections. Tetracycline is one of the broad-spectrum groups of antibiotics whose effectiveness has been greatly reduced due to antibiotic resistance. Despite this, they remain the treatment of choice for some specific indications.

Tetracycline is marketed under several other names: Achromycin V®, Panmycin®, Robitet®, Tetracyn®, and Sumycin®.

Patients are warned to avoid using this medication if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to any of the tetracycline antibiotics. Tetracycline increases the risk of sun sensitivity, either use adequate protection or avoid the sun. Use by children under the age of eight may result in permanent change in tooth color. Avoid using this medication if you have liver disease, are pregnant or think you may be pregnant or nursing a baby. Tetracycline may cause harmful or dangerous interactions if taken with herbal supplements, vitamins or over the counter medicines, be sure to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist and any other medications or supplements you may be taking. Avoid consuming dairy products within one to two hours before or after taking tetracycline. Use of tetracycline can alter the effectiveness of birth control pills, so it's best to consider a backup form of birth control while taking this antibiotic. Do not take iron or calcium supplements, antacids, Colestid, colestipol, Questran®, cholestyramine, Alka-Seltzer®, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate with tetracycline.

Side effects of Tetracycline include skin redness, hives, skin rash, severe itching, and swelling, inflammation, blistering or peeling of the skin. Wheezing, trouble breathing, mild diarrhea to severe diarrhea (watery or bloody), nausea, upset stomach, vaginal itching or discharge and sensitivity to sunlight may also occur.


Doxycycline is in the tetracycline group of oral antibiotics commonly used to treat bacterial infections, infections of the respiratory tract, pneumonia, Lyme disease, skin infections, acne, facial pimples and abscesses caused by rosacea, malaria, and infections involving the genitals, urinary related infections, and inhalational exposure to anthrax. Use of Doxycycline can help prevent the growth and spread of bacteria.

Doxycycline is marketed under several other names: Doryx®, Monodox®, Novodoxylin®, Oracea, Vibra-Tabs®, and Vibramycin®.

Doxycycline carries the same potential warnings and side effects as tetracycline listed above.


Minocycline is another in the class of antibiotics in the tetracycline group. Minocycline has a broader spectrum of use than the other antibiotics in the tetracycline group. It is a long-acting, bacteriostatic antibiotic. Because it is the most lipid-soluble of this antibiotic group, it provides greater penetration into the brain and prostrate, but with that it also presents the possibility of greater side effects involving the central nervous system such as autoimmune conditions, vertigo and skin discoloration not present in other tetracyclines.

Antibiotics in the tetracycline group must never be used past their expiration date as they become increasing toxic over time and can lead to serious kidney damage.

Minocycline is also marketed under the names: Dynacin® and Minocin®.