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Traitement doxycycline rosacée papulo-pustuleuse.

Doxycycline, an antibiotic for the papulopustular form of rosacea.

Rosacea is typically harmless, presenting as uncomplicated redness. However, this redness can intensify, and pustules or papules may appear. Doxycycline is introduced as a prescribed treatment for the papulopustular stage of rosacea. Let's learn more in this article.

The benefits of using doxycycline in the treatment of rosacea.

Stage III of rosacea is characterized by the appearance of red bumps (papules) or pus-filled bumps (pustules), or both (papulopustules), relating to the inflammatory form. However, doxycycline is an antibiotic from the tetracycline family. It helps to reduce and limit the development of pustules and papules associated with this stage of rosacea, but not the redness or telangiectasias.

Doxycycline is a second-generation tetracycline, exhibiting superior pharmacokinetic properties and less toxicity than first-generation tetracyclines (chlortetracycline). This antibiotic also helps to improve the quality of life of those affected. Indeed, facial imperfections often cause anxiety. Seeing them disappear helps to regain self-confidence and reduces stress.

What is the mechanism of action of doxycycline?

Doxycycline has an anti-inflammatory effect. This antibiotic reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, through its action on the pro-inflammatory signaling pathway NF-KB, which decreases inflammation and acne lesions associated with rosacea.

The dosage of doxycycline for rosacea.

Doxycycline is taken orally. Generally, for patients over 15 years old, the dosage of doxycycline in the context of a treatment for rosacea is 100 mg once a day. Depending on the patient's weight (kg), the recommendations tend towards 4 mg/kg once a day. It is advised to not exceed three months of treatment.

Precautions for using doxycycline?

It is recommended to administer the medication at least one hour before bedtime during a meal, with a sufficient amount of water. It should not be taken while lying down. The intake of doxycycline should be done after consulting a doctor. It is also necessary to adhere to the prescribed dosage, as well as the duration of the treatment depending on your case.

It is also recommended to avoid direct exposure to the sun or UV radiation, due to the photosensitization risks associated with doxycycline. Studies suggest that the energy from UV rays would trigger the generation of an excited singlet oxygen by doxycycline, which induces the oxidation of lipids and proteins in cell membranes, resulting in skin damage.

What are the side effects of using doxycycline?

Several side effects have been associated with the intake of doxycycline, due to its significant penetration into various organs. Here are some potential effects.

  • Dermatological Effects: Maculopapular rash, photosensitivity, skin hyperpigmentation, itching, hives;

  • Hematological Effects: Hemolytic Anemia;

  • Hepatological Effects: Liver failure, hepatitis (due to its accumulation in the liver during its excretion);

  • Immuno-allergic effects: Anaphylactic shock, Quincke's edema;

  • Metabolic Effects: Anorexia, Dysphagia;

  • Digestive Effects: Vomiting, gastric ulcer, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gastritis; These effects may be due to the (low) penetration of doxycycline into the small intestine in the form of a free drug, which can influence digestion.

  • Nervous Effects: Headache, intracranial hypertension; particularly due to the penetration of the drug into the cerebrospinal fluid.

  • Cardiovascular effects: Tachycardia, pericarditis,

  • ENT Effects: Tinnitus, glossitis.

The treatment should be discontinued in the event of a severe skin reaction. If you experience one or more of these effects after taking the medication, or if you have any doubts, consult your doctor.

The contraindications for the use of doxycycline.

Doxycycline is contraindicated in children under eight years old(due to tooth discoloration, enamel dysplasia, and potential bone deformities related to the accumulation of doxycycline on the bones and teeth, by forming a calcium complex), in breastfeeding women (due to the presence of doxycycline in breast milk, which can lead to abnormalities in the child's tooth development) and pregnant women during the last six months of pregnancy (due to the risk of discoloration and malformation of the fetus's teeth), and in people hypersensitive to cyclines. Its use is also prohibited for people taking retinoids and other cyclines.

As a precaution, it is advisable to avoid its use for pregnant women during the first three months of pregnancy, for individuals suffering from liver disease, Lyme disease, severe myasthenia, gastroesophageal reflux, and spirochetosis, for those who have used expired medication, and for individuals currently undergoing hepatotoxic treatment, due to the previously mentioned potential effects of doxycycline on the liver.


  • CHARLES P.G.P. and HOLMES N.E. Safety and Efficacy Review of Doxycycline. Clinical Medicine: Therapeutics (2009).

  • RIVERA A. & al. Safety and efficacy of doxycycline in the treatment of rosacea. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2009).

  • Doxycycline. VIDAL (2014).

  • RUÍZ-VILLAVERDE R. & al. Doxycycline, an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory agent? The most common uses in dermatology. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (2020)

  • BETTOLI V. & al. Tetracyclines and photosensitive skin reactions: A narrative review. Dermatologic Therapy (2021).

  • Doxycycline SANDOZ. VIDAL (2022).


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