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Acne Medications

Acne Medications

Accutane (Isotretinoin)
Adapalene (Differin)
Azelaic acid (Azelex)
Benzoyl Peroxide (Benzac, Clearsil)
Clindamycin (Cleocin-T) -See Also Antibiotics
Erythromycin (Erycette, T-stat) -See Also Antibiotics
Metronidazole (Metrogel)
Tazarotene (Tazorac)
Tretinoin (Retin-A)

Nutritional Considerations:

Do not take vitamin A with accutane or tetracycline, vitamin A toxicity may occur. (Facts and Comparisons 2000) (Pronsky 1999)

Take oral medications with food or milk to reduce stomach upset. Take Tetracycline one hour before or two hours after food or milk. (Facts and Comparisons 2000) (Pronsky 1999)

Accutane, adapalene, tazarotene, tetracyclines, and tretinoin increase sun sensitivity. Avoid excessive sun exposure while taking these medications. (Facts and Comparisons 2000)

Discuss vitamin C supplementation with your pharmacist; long-term use of tetracyclines may diminish vitamin C levels. (McKevoy 2000)

Limit or avoid yogurt while using tetracyclines, it may reduce the effect of the drug. (McKevoy 2000)

B-complex Vitamins (pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, vitamin B-12), folic acid and potassium may need to be supplemented with long-term use of tetracylines. (Holt 1998) (Pronsky 1999) Consult your pharmacist regarding supplementation.

Take calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc or other multivitamins or antacids separated by at least three hours from tetracyclines. (Facts and Comparisons 2000) (Pronsky 1999)

Limit or avoid alcohol. (Facts and Comparisons 2000) (Pronsky 1999)

Herbal Considerations:

Tetracyclines may interact with St. John's Wort or peppermint oil to cause increased sun sensitivity. Consult your pharmacist before using these herbs with tetracyclines. (Vassileva, 1998)


Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.

Facts and Comparisons, Clinisphere 2.0, Wolters Kluwer Company, 2000.

Holt GA. Food & Drug Interactions. Chicago: Precept Press, 1998, 256-58.

McKevoy GK, ed. AHFS Drug Information. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 1998

Pronsky, Zaneta. Food Medication Interactions. 11th edition. 1999

Vassileva SG, et al: Antimicrobial photosensitive reactions, Arch Intern Med, 1998, 158:1993-2000.