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Antibiotics & Rosacea

Antibiotic resistance happens when germs and bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them, which allows the germs to continue to grow and cause problems. The body does not become resistant to antibiotics, but the bacteria is more resilient against them. Varying doses of antibiotics are used to treat rosacea and other skin diseases, so this has become a recent area of focus.

Understanding antibiotic resistance will be important as you partner with your healthcare professional to develop your rosacea treatment plan.

Picture of Asian man with rosacea

A Growing Problem

Germs will always look for ways to survive and resist new drugs. More and more, germs are sharing their resistance with one another, making it harder for dermatologists and medical professionals to keep up.

In fact, antibiotic resistance has been occurring and documented since the discovery of penicillin in 1928. In the United States alone, at least 2.8 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 35,000 people die as a result annually.1

What Causes Antibiotic Resistance?

There’s no specific action that causes germs to become resistant to antibiotics; instead, there are a collection of lifestyle choices and factors that contribute to antibiotic resistance:

  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Patients not taking antibiotics as prescribed
Oracea (doxycycline, USP) Once-daily 40 mg Capsules bottle

ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40mg* Capsules are a Non-Antibiotic Dose

The active ingredient in ORACEA Capsules is doxycycline, but unlike traditional antibiotic doses of doxycycline, the low-dose formulation of ORACEA Capsules does not work by killing bacteria. Instead, it reduces the bumps and blemishes of rosacea because of its anti-inflammatory properties. That’s important because rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, not a bacterial infection.

Find Ways to Treat Rosacea

Important Safety Information for ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40 mg* Capsules

Indication: ORACEA Capsules are indicated for the treatment of only inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules) of rosacea in adult patients. ORACEA Capsules do not lessen the facial redness caused by rosacea. Adverse Events: In controlled clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events (>2%) in patients treated with ORACEA Capsules were nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, diarrhea, hypertension and aspartate aminotransferase increase. Warnings/Precautions: ORACEA Capsules should not be used to treat or prevent infections. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken by patients who have a known hypersensitivity to doxycycline or other tetracyclines. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, or during tooth development (up to the age of 8 years). Although photosensitivity was not observed in clinical trials, ORACEA Capsules patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. The efficacy of ORACEA Capsules treatment beyond 16 weeks and safety beyond 9 months have not been established. Click here to view the full prescribing information for ORACEA Capsules.

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads

Important Safety Information for SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%

Indication: SOOLANTRA Cream is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≤ 1 %) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation. Click here to view the full prescribing information for SOOLANTRA Cream.

Important Safety Information for MIRVASO® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%†

Indication: MIRVASO Gel is an alpha adrenergic agonist indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema of rosacea in adults 18 years of age or older. Adverse Events: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) included erythema, flushing, skin burning sensation and contact dermatitis. Warnings/Precautions: MIRVASO Gel should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Alpha‐2 adrenergic agents can lower blood pressure. MIRVASO Gel should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Serious adverse reactions following accidental ingestion of MIRVASO Gel by children have been reported. Keep MIRVASO Gel out of reach of children. Not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use. Click here to view full prescribing information for MIRVASO Gel.

†Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Select a Brand for Prescribing Information:

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads
†Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html. Accessed March 23, 2020.