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How long should I be on oral antibiotics?

The usual minimum duration of oral antibiotics therapy is 6 to 8 weeks and the maximum duration is approximately 12 to 18 weeks. However, if our other acne treatments are not effective, and if the oral antibiotic therapy was working well, our dermatologist may rarely opt to recommend us to continue the oral antibiotic indefinitely, although this is not an ideal option for most people.

With the introducing of “Periostat,” a newer low-dose oral antibiotic, this may be the exception to this general rule. Because the dose is so low, the idea is that it can and should be taken over a long period of time. Rest assures the incidence of this oral antibiotics side effect is very low and resistance is not a problem at all.

However, it is good to note that after a successful course of the oral antibiotics is completed, we may still prescribe to the medications in order to maintain an acne free complexion and for better acne control reasons.

Often prescription and over-the-counter acne treatments can be used together and can complement each other very nicely, but from the acne care and acne clear perspective, we should let our doctor know about all of the products that we are using on our skin.

Because there is no cure for acne and also there are so many factors that may cause the acne to recur, we may still need to retreat with oral antibiotics on occasion if we should have a flare of acne. Likely, the doctor will recommend us restart the last antibiotic that was effective and required us to complete a 12 to 18-week course. This pattern may need to be repeated on and off depending on how we do.

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