Many acne treatments are available on prescription, including oral antibiotics. One of the most common antibiotics used to treat acne is Lymecycline. This is usually prescribed for moderate or severe acne and can be effective for many people. In this post, we take a look at how soon you can expect to see your acne improve with Lymecycline.

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Lymecycline is an antibiotic that’s only available on prescription in the UK. It can be prescribed for adults and children over 12 years old. One capsule is taken every day, preferably in the morning, with a glass of water.

Lymecycline should be used in combination with topical acne medicines such as Differin Gel, Skinoren cream, or Epiduo Gel. Combining it with these medicines helps to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. If the bacteria on your skin becomes resistant to antibiotics, it might make your acne harder to treat.

How long can you take Lymecycline for?

Lymecycline is usually prescribed for 8 to 12 weeks to treat acne. After this time, your doctor will reassess you to see if your acne has improved. They will also ask if you’ve experienced any side effects of Lymecycline. How long you take Lymecycline will depend on how quickly your acne improves.

If your acne has completely cleared after the first 12-week course, your doctor will tell you to stop taking Lymecycline. You can continue to use topical treatments to make sure your acne doesn’t return.

If your acne has improved, but not completely cleared, your doctor may prescribe Lymecycline for another 12 weeks. This means that you can take Lymecycline for up to 24 weeks (6 months) to improve your acne. It should not be taken after 24 weeks, because long term use can cause antibiotic resistance.

If your acne hasn’t improved after using Lymecycline and a topical treatment for 12 weeks, your doctor will tell you to stop Lymecycline. If your acne isn’t severe, they may prescribe a different treatment like Duac Gel or Treclin Gel. If your acne is severe, your GP may refer you to a dermatologist for specialist treatment.

How long for Lymecycline to work?

Acne improves slowly with antibiotic treatment and you shouldn’t expect results overnight. You might see some improvement within a week, but it takes several weeks for it to have a full effect and significantly improve acne.

One study researching Lymecycline used in combination with adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, measured the effectiveness over 12 weeks. It found there was an improvement in spots and inflammation after 1 week in some people. However, patients’ acne improved throughout the study. By week 12, the improvement in acne was greater than it had been in the first few weeks of treatment.

This shows that you should take Lymecycline for the duration that your doctor has prescribed for you. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t see any improvement in the first few weeks. Most doctors will prescribe Lymecycline for at least 8 or 12 weeks. This is because it usually takes 8 weeks to see significant improvement. 

If you stop taking Lymecycline too soon, your acne could come back or get worse. One tip for seeing if Lymecycline is improving your acne is to take a picture every week whilst on treatment. This can help you to see if your acne is improving over time whilst taking Lymecycline.

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Other antibiotics for acne

Several oral antibiotics can be prescribed to treat acne. Lymecycline is often used as the first choice but your doctor can also prescribe doxycycline or minocycline. All three belong to a family of antibiotics called ‘tetracyclines’. A different type of antibiotic, erythromycin, can also be prescribed for acne.

Lymecycline isn’t safe for everyone to take. Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to Lymecycline or any of the other ingredients in Lymecycline capsules should also not take this medicine.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take this medicine for acne. Other tetracycline antibiotics for acne aren’t suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women either. However, erythromycin can sometimes be prescribed to pregnant women with acne.

If you find antibiotics aren’t effective at treating your acne, there are several other treatments you can try. This includes topical retinoids, topical antibiotics, contraceptive pills and more. See our post on acne causes, treatments and tips for more information.

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