Antibiotic Resistance: What it Really Means for Rosacea Sufferers

(BPT) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five out of every six people in the United States received one antibiotic prescription in 2016.1,2 While antibiotics are commonly used for their bacteria-killing capabilities, dermatologists, the top antibiotic prescribers in the U.S., also use antibiotics for their anti-inflammatory properties, to treat common conditions like rosacea.3,4,5 The problem arises as any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects that lead to antibiotic resistance.1 This means that bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to eliminate them.6

Antibiotic resistance has become so widespread that the CDC declared it “one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health,” leading to 2 million people infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria annually and 23,000 related deaths.5,7 When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics cannot fight back, and the bacteria multiplies.6 This can ultimately result in less effective treatments, allowing for longer lasting infections dangerous to human health at an individual and global level.5

Therefore, it’s important for those suffering from rosacea, a chronic skin condition affecting an estimated 16 million Americans, to understand antibiotic resistance, what it means and ways to help prevent it by relying on alternative solutions when possible.8,9

Thankfully, there are non-antibiotic dose options that can help reduce the symptoms of rosacea.4 ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40mg* Capsules, a convenient, once-daily prescription treatment, targets inflammation below the skin to reduce the bumps and blemishes of rosacea from the inside out.4,10,11 The low-dose formulation of ORACEA Capsules does not work by killing bacteria; instead, it treats rosacea symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties.4,10,11

According to board-certified dermatologist and Galderma consultant, Dr. Julie Harper, “The signs and symptoms of rosacea can be bothersome for those who haven’t found the results they were looking for with topical treatments.12 As I try to steer away from introducing an antibiotic dose to help my patients achieve clearer skin, I find that ORACEA Capsules are a great solution to help to minimize the bumps and blemishes of rosacea.”11 Unlike the most commonly prescribed 100mg dose of doxycycline which showed induced microbial resistance as early as day seven, ORACEA Capsules’ formula was shown to not contribute to antibiotic resistance in a nine-month study.11,13

Aside from using safe and effective treatment options, like ORACEA Capsules, there are other ways to help decelerate the threat, and equip yourself in the fight against antibiotic resistance by following these tips:

  • Don’t demand antibiotics: Antibiotics do not effectively treat viral infections like the common cold or flu, so trust your doctor’s expertise when told that antibiotics won’t help.5,7 In fact, the CDC estimates 30% of antibiotic prescriptions written by doctors are unnecessary.7
  • Follow doctor’s orders: When prescribed, complete an antibiotic course as instructed.5 Unfinished antibiotic regimens can allow bacteria to survive (even if you’re feeling better) and adapt to the treatment, increasing rates of resistance.14
  • Don’t save or share leftover antibiotics: Self-medicating may not treat the illness properly and could lead to adverse side effects.5,15
  • Engage in the conversation: To help reduce the bumps and blemishes of rosacea, ask your dermatologist about an effective, non-antibiotic dose option.10

For more information about antibiotic resistance, talk to your dermatologist today. Visit to learn about rosacea and the non-antibiotic treatment option. With proper care, it’s possible to treat rosacea and help limit the risk of antibiotic resistance for a clearer and healthier future.11

Important Safety Information

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.

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads

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

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1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic use in the United States, 2018 update: progress and opportunities. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2019.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic use in outpatient settings, 2017. Accessed on October 14, 2019.

3 Penn Medicine News. Dermatologists prescribe the most antibiotics, but which uses are driving the trend? Accessed on October 14, 2019.

4 Del Rosso, J. and Zeichner, J. The clinical relevance of antibiotic resistance: thirteen principles that every dermatologist needs to consider when prescribing antibiotic therapy. Dermatology Clinics: 2016. 34, pp. 167-173.

5 World Health Organization. Antibiotic resistance. Accessed on October 14, 2019.

6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic resistance questions and answers. Accessed on October 14, 2019.

7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be antibiotics aware: smart use, best care. Accessed on October 14, 2019.

8 National Rosacea Society. All about rosacea. Accessed on October 14, 2019.

9 National Rosacea Society. What is rosacea? Accessed on October 14, 2019.

10 Oracea (doxycycline) capsules for oral use. Prescribing information. 2014.

11 Valentin, Sheila, et al. Safety and efficacy of doxycycline in the treatment of rosacea. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology: CCID 2 (2009): 129.

12 Rosacea: Beyond the visible online report, BMJ Hosted Website. Accessed October 14, 2019.

13 Walker C, Bradshaw M. The effect of oral doxycycline 100 mg once-daily for 14 days on the nasopharyngeal flora of healthy volunteers: a preliminary analysis. Presented at: Fall Clinical Dermatology; October 18-21, 2007; Las Vegas, NV.

14 University of California Berkley. Antibiotic resistance: delaying the inevitable. Accessed on October 14, 2019.

15 Consumer Reports. The dangers of left over antibiotics. Accessed on October 14, 2019.