Doxycycline, Anti-Inflammatory Dose (Low-Dose)

Antibiotics have been well established as an effective treatment option for rosacea. Doxycycline, minocycline and tetracycline are types of antibiotics that have been shown to be particularly useful for reducing the bumps and swelling of papulopustular rosacea (rosacea subtype 2).

Antibiotics are usually prescribed to fight an infection caused by bacteria, but they may also be prescribed to people with rosacea to reduce skin inflammation.

When used to reduce inflammation, and not fight an infection, the antibiotic can be given at a lower dose.

Effective treatment for rosacea requires the use of an antibiotic for several months or longer. However, the long-term use of antibiotics at "anti-infective" doses can lead to bacterial resistance. The higher doses can also increase the risk of experiencing side effects, such stomach upset and yeast infections.

Fortunately, the anti-inflammatory benefits of doxycline can be reached by using relatively low doses. The use of a low dose may be referred to as a "subantimicrobial dose" or "anti-inflammatory dose" .

These low doses of antibiotics can be taken safely for longer periods of time compared to higher doses.

Doxycycline is usually prescribed in doses of 100-200 mg per day to treat bacterial infections. However, doses of 40-50mg per day have been shown to be high enough to treat some rosacea symptoms and low enough to avoid GI symptoms and other side effects.

Oracea® is a branded version of anti-inflammatory doxycycline that has been FDA approved for the treatment of rosacea. It contains a delayed-release formulation of doxycycline that allows it to be taken once daily while maintaining effective blood levels. This can make it easier to stay on treatment. In clinical studies, women taking low dose doxcycline did not experience a higher incidence of vaginal yeast infections.

Anti-inflammatory-dose doxycycline should not be used by individuals with known hypersensitivity to tetracyclines or increased photosensitivity, or by pregnant or nursing women.

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Last updated: 1/8/2019