How are systemic oral antibiotics used to treat acne vulgaris?

Updated: Mar 26, 2019
  • Author: Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Systemic antibiotics are a mainstay in the treatment of moderate-to-severe inflammatory acne vulgaris. [33] These agents have anti-inflammatory properties, and they are effective against C acnes (formerly P acnes). The tetracycline group of antibiotics is commonly prescribed for acne. The more lipophilic antibiotics, such as doxycycline and minocycline, are generally more effective than tetracycline. [33]

Sarecycline is a new first-in-class tetracycline-derived antibiotic indicated for adults and children aged 9 years and older with non-nodular moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris. Compared with currently available tetracyclines, it has a narrow spectrum of activity, including less activity against enteric gram-negative bacteria, and it also elicits anti-inflammatory effects. Clinical trials showed efficacy compared with placebo to be statistically significant. Onset of efficacy, observed by improvement of inflammatory lesions, was evident at the first follow-up visit (ie, 3 weeks). [40]


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