Lymecycline for Acne

Lymecycline for Acne

Lymecycline capsules are used to treat acne by reducing the bacteria on your skin that can cause the condition. You should start to see results in 1-2 weeks, but it can take up to 12 weeks to work. It's an effective treatment for all types of acne.

In stock
from £65.00

Product details

Lymecycline is a prescription medication for acne, and can help treat acne over several weeks by fighting bacteria to improve your skin. We offer lymecycline alongside either Epiduo or Differin, which are topical treatments that work well in combination with lymecycline.

To buy lymecycline, you will need to upload a photograph of the affected area, so our doctors can make sure this is the right acne treatment for you.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 20 Jul 2021

Lymecycline prices

Pack Size Price
Lymecycline 408mg + Epiduo Gel 45g £65.00

How it Works

About Lymecycline Capsules for Acne

What is lymecycline?

Lymecycline is an antibacterial medication used to treat infections caused by germs (bacteria). It is one of a group of antibiotics used to treat different types of infection including acne. Lymecycline is taken as a tablet and may be prescribed to be taken over days, weeks, or months. This depends on the type of infection it is being used to treat.

Lymecycline is also used to treat other types of infection including chest infections, like pneumonia, nose or sinus infections, and infections in the mouth.

When it is used to treat acne, lymecycline is prescribed with another type of treatment called a ‘topical’ treatment. This is a type of medication you rub onto the skin that is affected by acne. lymecycline is usually prescribed alongside either Epiduo or Differin.

What is Epiduo?

Epiduo is a gel that you rub onto your skin. The gel contains Benzoyl peroxide which is an antiseptic. This helps to treat acne by reducing the number of germs (bacteria) living on your skin. Epiduo is normally rubbed onto your skin once a day before going to bed.

What is Differin?

Differin is a cream that is rubbed onto your skin to treat acne. It is used to treat mild, moderate, and severe acne alongside lymecycline. Like Epiduo it is only used once a day, before bedtime. Differin is a type of medicine called a ‘retinoid’. Retinoids work by removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin (exfoliating).

How does lymecycline work?

Like other antibacterial medicines, lymecycline works by controlling the amount of bacteria that lives on your body. Lymecycline works by stopping bacteria from growing and reproducing, especially the bacteria that causes acne. This bacteria is called Propionibacterium acnes. It feeds on oils produced by your skin and then creates waste which can irritate the skin, creating the pimples and spots we know as acne.

How long does lymecycline take to clear acne?

Lymecycline is normally prescribed for 8 to 12 weeks and can take a while to work. You may start to see some improvement after 1 or 2 weeks but it is important to continue to take lymecycline as prescribed.

How effective is lymecycline?

Lymecycline is an effective treatment for acne. Studies have shown it can significantly reduce the number of spots and improve the appearance of skin if taken as prescribed by your doctor over a period of weeks or months.

Lymecycline is one of several antibiotic treatments used to treat acne and belongs to a group of medicines called tetracyclines. Your doctor will prescribe the safest and most effective type of antibiotic for you. Another common antibiotic that is prescribed to treat acne is oxytetracycline. This works in a similar way to lymecycline and in some cases may be more or less effective. Lymecycline is absorbed by the body more effectively than oxytetracycline but has different side effects. It is important to follow the advice of your doctor when comparing antibacterial medicines.

How to take lymecycline

Lymecycline is usually prescribed in capsule form and your doctor will tell you how and when to take it. The tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Milk and other dairy products may affect the way in which the body absorbs lymecycline but studies show that a moderate amount of milk is not likely to be a problem. You can take food at the same time as you take lymecycline.

Your doctor will tell you how many capsules of lymecycline to take each day. Normally this will be 1 or 2. Try to take your medicine at the same time each day. This helps you to remember to take the tablets every day.

It is important to use any other acne treatments that are prescribed by your doctor alongside lymecycline. This is usually a cream or gel that you rub onto the affected areas of skin. Normally you will only need to do this once a day. In most cases this will be before bedtime.

How long can you take lymecycline for?

Your doctor will tell you how long it is safe for you to take lymecycline. Normally you will be prescribed lymecycline for 8 to 12 weeks. It can take some time to work and may be prescribed for longer if your acne is more severe. You should only take lymecycline for as long as your doctor tells you to. As with other antibiotics, long term use of lymecycline is not usually recommended.

The most common creams and gels prescribed alongside lymecycline are Epiduo and Differin.

How to use Epiduo

Epiduo gel should be rubbed onto the skin affected by acne once a day before you go to bed. Epiduo is normally used as follows:

  1. Clean and dry your skin before using Epiduo
  2. Use a mild soap and gently pat your skin dry to avoid irritation
  3. Thinly apply a covering of the gel to areas affected by acne

Epiduo can be applied to the chest, face, or back. Do not apply Epiduo to areas of broken, sensitive, or sunburnt skin. Also avoid getting the gel on your eyelids, mouth, lips or nose. Wash any of the cream off gently with warm water if you do get it onto these areas.

Only apply Epiduo once a day. The gel will not work more effectively or any faster if it is applied more times than it is prescribed.

How to use Differin

Your doctor will tell you how to use Differin cream but usually it is applied once a day as follows:

  • Apply Differin to your skin once a day before you go to bed
  • Clean and dry your skin before using the cream
  • Use a mild soap and gently pat your skin dry
  • Use a thin layer of the cream to cover the area of skin affected by acne
  • Wash your hands after you are done

Do not use Differin on sunburnt, broken, or sensitive skin and avoid your eyelids, mouth, lips, and nose. Wash any of the cream off gently with warm water if you do get it onto these areas. Differin should only be used as prescribed and only applied to your skin once a day. It will not work any faster or more effectively if you do.

Lymecycline side effects

All medicines can have side effects but not everybody will get them.

Common side effects

  • Feeling sick
  • Tummy pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches

Uncommon side effects

Stop taking lymecycline and speak to your doctor if you have:

  • liver problems
  • pale poo and dark pee
  • yellowish skin and yellowing of the whites of your eyes
  • skin that is sensitive to sunlight

Rare side effects

A very small number of people may have an allergic reaction to lymecycline. You should call 999, 111 or go to A&E if you have:

  • a skin rash including itchy, swollen skin or blistering and peeling skin
  • wheezing
  • tightness in the chest or in your throat
  • a swollen face, mouth, lips or tongue

Lymecycline and weight gain

Antibiotics may cause weight gain when used for a long time. Scientific studies have not proved this to be the case although some have found that long term use of antibiotics in children may cause weight gain as they grow older.

Lymecycline and depression

Links between lymecycline and depression are not yet clear. Using antibiotic medicines for a long time may have links to depression. But, it is unlikely you will be prescribed lymecycline over the long term.

Lymecycline and hair loss

Lymecycline has not been linked to hair loss, although antibiotics in general can cause hair to temporarily become thinner. Limited research suggests that antibiotics can affect bacteria in your gut which may in turn affect hair growth. Hair loss is unlikely but if you are concerned you should check with your doctor.

Lymecycline and stomach pain

Tummy upsets are a known side effect of taking lymecycline and you may notice these when you first start taking the tablets. In most cases the side effect will go away after a few days. Resting and relaxing or using a heat pad on your tummy may help to relieve the feeling. If side effects last for longer contact your doctor to check if it is safe for you to continue taking lymecycline.

Does lymecycline make acne worse?

Lymecycline is an effective treatment for most people. It is important to take the full course of lymecycline that your doctor prescribes. You should also use any other medications that your doctor prescribes alongside lymecycline to get the best results. If you have concerns that your treatment is not working, contact your doctor to check if there are better medications for you.

Lymecycline and the sun

Lymecycline has been known to make your skin more sensitive to the sunlight. Avoid bright sunlight and do not use sunbeds if you have this side effect. It is also important that you discuss this with your doctor.

Who can take lymecycline?

Lymecycline is a safe and effective treatment for acne which can be taken by adults and children over the age of 12 years. Your doctor may prescribe a medication called ‘Tetralysal 300’. This is the branded version of lymecycline.

It is not suitable for everybody and you should tell your doctor if you:

  • have had an an allergic reaction to any medicine in the past, including lymecycline
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • have a disease called lupus
  • have a disease called myasthenia gravis

If you are pregnant or think that you might be pregnant you should tell your doctor. Lymecycline is not suitable for pregnant women as it may affect their unborn child. It may also cause liver problems for you if you are pregnant. Lymecycline is also not considered suitable for breastfeeding mothers as it can be passed through breast milk to your child.

Can I drink alcohol when taking lymecycline?

Yes, you can drink alcohol whilst taking lymecycline. Remember that drinking alcohol may make some side effects of lymecycline worse.

Taking other medicines and lymecycline

You should tell your doctor about any other conditions that you are being treated for before starting to take lymecycline. Some medications may affect how well lymecycline works and some may not be safe to take with lymecycline. It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • indigestion medicines (sometimes called antacids)
  • iron supplements
  • medicines for high blood pressure or heart failure (especially quinapril)
  • supplements containing aluminium, bismuth, calcium, magnesium or zinc
  • other acne medications which contain Vitamin A, particularly isotretinoin
  • blood thinning medication, like warfarin
  • tablets to help you pee more often, like furosemide
  • epilepsy medicines, including phenytoin and carbamazepine


Patient Reviews

Further Reading on Acne