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Acne Drug Effectiveness & Side Effects

If you are someone who suffers from acne breakouts, you are sure to know that there are a several acne treatment options available to you.

You only need to spend a few moments looking online to find long lists of ways to tackle acne. Whether it’s face or back acne that you suffer with or acne on your jaw and neck, you will find a lot of this information online centres around different acne drugs. These have different levels of effectiveness, which can vary from person to person; finding the ideal acne treatment for you is often a case of trial and error, especially where medication is concerned.

There are undoubtedly gentle acne treatment options out there – such as using a mild cleanser and avoiding too much makeup – but many people find that acne drugs are significantly more effective when it comes to limiting and preventing breakouts. There are a handful of different acne drugs regularly prescribed by medical professionals, some of which we have detailed below.

Commonly Prescribed Acne Treatments


What is Lymecycline?

Lymecycline is a commonly prescribed oral antibiotic for acne, and it helps to alleviate the symptoms of acne. Lymecycline is usually prescribed when topical treatments are not effectively treating the acne. It does this by killing the infection-causing bacteria, which reduces the signs of inflammation.

What are the Side Effects of Lymecycline?  

There are a handful of mild side effects of lymecycline, which affect around one in one hundred people. This includes diarrhoea, headaches, nausea and stomach pain. There are also some more severe side effects of lymecycline, such as sensitivity to the sun, yellowing of the skin and yellowing of the eyes.

Can Lymecycline Be Used as a Long-Term Acne Treatment?

Though antibiotics such as lymecycline can be an effective acne treatment, it’s not recommended that lymecycline is used for long periods of time. As is the case with all types of antibiotics, constant lymecycline use can lower the immune system. This makes you more likely to pick up infections.

Benzoyl Peroxide

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a type of antiseptic treatment that is often used to treat acne, which it does by reducing the number of bacteria on the surface of the skin. It also helps to reduce inflammation and fight blackheads, whiteheads and the signs of acne breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is prescribed in cream or gel form, both of which can be effective acne treatments when used once or twice a day.

What are the Side Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide?

There are quite a few side effects of benzoyl peroxide, and it should be used sparingly to avoid skin irritations. Benzoyl peroxide can make you more sensitive to sunlight, which means it’s important to limit sun exposure and to wear sun cream during treatment. It can also cause dry skin, redness, peeling of the skin, and burning or itching sensations on the skin.

Can Benzoyl Peroxide Be Used as a Long Term Acne Treatment?

It’s unlikely for benzoyl peroxide to be used as a long term acne treatment, as a course of treatment tends to be six weeks long. After six weeks of using benzoyl peroxide, most people find that the majority of their acne has cleared up. However, benzoyl peroxide can be used again less frequently to keep acne at bay.


What is Minocycline?

Minocycline is a type of antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of ailments that are caused by bacteria. This includes pneumonia, respiratory tract infections, skin infections and intestinal infections. When used alongside topical medications, minocycline can also be used to treat acne. Minocycline works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria, which decreases the amount of acne-causing bacteria present on the skin.

What are the Side Effects of Minocycline?

There are a number of side effects to be aware of when using minocycline, including diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, itching, muscle pain, mood changes, changes in the colour of skin and gums, and hair loss. Though minocycline is an effective acne treatment, it’s important to know that some people do experience one or more of these side effects. Of course, many people successfully use minocycline without experiencing any side effects.

Can Minocycline Be Used as a Long Term Acne Treatment?

Minocycline should not be used as a long term acne treatment as it’s an antibiotic, and frequent antibiotic use can lessen its effectiveness. Regularly taking antibiotics can also lower the immune system and make you more susceptible to picking up other infections.


What is Co-cyprindiol?

Co-cyprindiol is a hormonal treatment that can be used to treat severe instances of acne, especially cases of acne that are not responding adequately to antibiotics and topical creams. It works by reducing the production of sebum which, when produced in excess and mixed with dead skin cells, contributes to acne flare-ups.

What are the Side Effects of Co-cyprindiol? 

There are a lot of side effects associated with taking co-cyprindiol, so it’s best to seek medical advice before doing so. There is evidence to suggest that prolonged use of co-cyprindiol is linked to an increased chance of developing breast cancer later in life, though research is ongoing. There is also a risk of co-cyprindiol causing a blood clot, though this risk is relatively small and only affects around one in 2,500 people taking co-cyprindiol per year. Other side effects of co-cyprindiol are bleeding and spotting between periods, headaches, mood changes, weight loss and weight gain. Though there are a number of side effects related to co-cyprindiol, many people take the drug without experiencing any.

Can Co-cyprindiol Be Used as a Long Term Acne Treatment?

In order to see results, most people need to use co-cyprindiol for between two and six months.

Another effective way of treating acne is to use acne laser treatments, which work by evening out the surface of the skin, encouraging the production of new skin cells and boosting the skin’s collagen. Laser treatment can also reduce a lot of the inflammation and redness caused by acne. To find out more about treating acne, speak to a specialist.