Do oral antibiotics used to treat acne have any long-term negative effects?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Tetracyclines are deposited in developing teeth, where they then may cause irreversible yellowish brown staining of the teeth. Also, tetracyclines have been shown to inhibit bone growth in developing fetuses. Therefore, tetracycline should not be given to women who are breast feeding or pregnant, especially after the 4th month. Tetracycline should also not be given to babies or children younger than 8 years of age because staining of the teeth can also be a problem in this age group.

The only antibiotic that is considered safe for the treatment of acne in pregnant women or children is erythromycin. This is also usually reserved for cases in which acne is severe or scarring is an issue; otherwise, topical treatments are usually considered the first-line therapy.
100 Questions & Answers About Acne

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100 Questions & Answers About Acne

100 Questions and Answers About Acne provides you with all the information you need to manage your complexion problems. Written by Dr. Doris J. Day, a world-class expert in the field, this clearly...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.