Dermatologists commonly treat inflammatory acne with antibiotics. But some acne resists treatment with the most commonly used antibiotics, which include minocycline and erythromycin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If this is the case for you, your dermatologist might prescribe flucloxacillin to treat your acne.
Inflammatory acne always includes bacterial infection, according to the Cleveland Clinic. When you develop whiteheads and blackheads, bacteria can multiply and grow in the skin oil behind those blockages, causing infection and inflammation. In some cases, the bacterial infection leads to pus-filled cystic acne and other severe forms of the skin disease.
Antibiotics such as flucloxacillin treat the bacterial infection in inflammatory acne, according to the Drugs.com. Flucloxacillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin family, so if you're allergic to penicillin, you shouldn't take flucloxacillin. Adults and teenagers typically will take 250 to 500mg of flucloxacillin every six hours to treat acne.
If flucloxacillin works to clear your complexion, you'll typically start to see some pimples clearing within a week or two of starting the medication. Common side effects of flucloxacillin include mild diarrhea, yeast infections and headaches, according to the Drugs.com. Rare side effects can include convulsions, severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. If those occur, contact your physician immediately.
Few medical studies have looked at the effects of penicillin-type antibiotics such as flucloxacillin in acne. One study, led by Dr. W. Gubelin and published in the Spanish-language medical journal "Revisto Latinoamericana de Microbiologia" in 2006, found that strains of acne-promoting bacteria were susceptible to penicillin. On the forums at Acne.org, several patients have reported that flucloxacillin helped them clear their acne.
If your doctor decides to prescribe flucloxacillin for your inflammatory acne, you may need to use a topical treatment, such as benzoyl peroxide, along with the flucloxacillin, according to MayoClinic.com. Treatment with benzoyl peroxide, a proven acne-fighter, can help prevent your acne from becoming resistant to flucloxacillin.
- American Academy of Dermatology/Skin Care Physicians: Prescription Medications for Acne
- Cleveland Clinic: Acne
- Drugs.com: Penicillin/Flucloxacillin
- "Revisto Latinoamericana de Microbiologia"; Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Strains of Propionibacterium Acnes Isolated from Inflammatory Acne; W. Gubelin et al.; Jan.-Mar. 2006
- Acne.org: Better than Accutane