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Should I eat right before or after taking my oral acne antibiotic?

This depends on what oral acne antibiotics we are taking. For example, the original formulation of tetracycline which is very inexpensive compared to the newer products in the market will require us to take at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating any foods that contain dairy products. This is required in order for oral tetracycline to be fully absorbed to achieve the desired result.

However, the newer oral acne antibiotics such as doxycycline and minocycline which are being used as an alternative to tetracycline are coated for better absorption and can be taken with food. Despite doxycycline and minocycline are derivatives of tetracycline, they appear to be more effective in reducing the P. acnes population and help to reduce inflammation than tetracyclines, also they are less likely to promote drug resistance.

In fact, advances in oral acne antibiotic production have made some antibiotics even better absorbed and are more effective if taken with food. However, we should avoid taking them with iron or calcium supplements. Since each drug has its pluses and minuses, it is advisable to check with our doctor for the course of action to be taken.

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