After a successful course of antibiotics is completed, you should continue the topical regimen that your doctor prescribed to maintain clearance. Often prescription and over-the-counter treatments can be used together and can complement each other very nicely, but you should let your doctor know about all of the products that you are using on your skin.
Because there is no cure for acne and because so many factors cause the acne to recur, you may still need to retreat with oral antibiotics on occasion if you should have a flare of acne. In that case, your doctor will most likely recommend that you restart the last antibiotic that was effective and again complete a 12- to 18-week course. This pattern may need to be repeated on and off depending on how you do.