Doxycycline Hyclate vs Monohydrate: Which One Is Better for Acne?
Learn about the differences and similarities between Doxycycline Hyclate and Monohydrate so you and your healthcare provider can decide if this may be a good option for you.
Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Uffe Koppelhus, Dermatologist
Table of Content:
3 Key Differences | Brand Names | Side-effects and warning | Considerations when taking Doxycycline | Which one is better for acne? | How long does it take to start working? | How to get doxycycline?
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The information presented in this article is a summary based on scientific research and the professional advice of our Content Medical Reviewers who are experts in the field of Dermatology.
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used to treat different bacterial infections and a very common treatment for acne1 and rosacea2; it comes in two formulations: doxycycline hyclate and doxycycline monohydrate.
Although acne is not considered an infection, certain antibiotics such as doxycycline decrease the amount of P. acnes bacteria on the skin reducing inflammation and painful breakouts3.
3 Main Differences Between Doxycycline Hyclate and Monohydrate in Acne Treatment
Doxycycline monohydrate and doxycycline hyclate are variations of the same drug, and they are both used to treat acne and rosacea.
- Doxycycline Monohydrate is less acidic and more gentle on the stomach4
- Doxycycline Monohydrate is considerably cheaper than Hyclate in the U.S.
- Doxycycline Hyclate is water-soluble5, while Doxycycline Monohydrate is not
Doxycycline Monohydrate Brand Names:
Doxycycline Hyclate Brand Names:
Side-effects of Doxycycline Monohydrate or Hyclate
Common Side-effects of Doxycycline
- Mild diarrhea
- Skin rashes
- Tooth discoloration
Severe Side-effects of Doxycycline
- Bloody diarrhea
- Hemolytic anemia
- Throat irritation or trouble swallowing
- Chest pain
- Exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular or fast heart rate
- Intracranial hypertension
- Ulcerations in the esophagus, if taken without water6
Warning when Taking Doxycycline Monohydrate or Hyclate for Acne
People who are allergic to doxycycline or other tetracycline antibiotics (Demeclocycline, Minocycline, Tetracycline, or Tigecycline) should not take Doxycycline Monohydrate or Hyclate7.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid doxycycline as it may harm the unborn baby or cause permanent tooth discoloration. Doxycycline can pass into breast milk and may affect bone and tooth development in a nursing infant8.
Young individuals should avoid taking doxycycline as it may cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth9.
Doxycycline can make birth control pills less effective, ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control to prevent pregnancy10.
Considerations when Taking Doxycycline for Acne
Take Doxycycline Exactly as Instructed by your Healthcare Provider
Use all the different medicines in your acne treatment plan and for the exact number of days they have been prescribed. If the treatment is not exactly followed as prescribed by your provider, your acne may develop a resistance to antibiotics11.
To increase efficacy and reduce the time needed to treat and thereby the likeliness of antibiotic resistance, your healthcare provider will most probably prescribe other acne medications such as Tretinoin, together with Doxycycline.
Use Gentle Skin Products
By using gentle skin care products and implementing a good skin care routine for acne prone skin in combination with your prescribed antibiotics, should help clear your skin in a few weeks’ time.
Follow-up with your Healthcare Provider
To ensure your treatment is working and continues to do so in the future, it is extremely important that you schedule periodic appointments with your healthcare provider.
Follow your Maintenance Plan
Once your skin clears, it is extremely important that you continue with the maintenance plan your healthcare provider has prescribed you to avoid new breakouts. Most people can keep their skin clear by using a combination of topical solutions such as gels and creams. Using the maintenance acne treatment will help you keep your skin clear and decrease the need for stronger medications such as antibiotics.
FAQ About Doxycycline for Acne
Which is Better for Acne: Doxycycline Hyclate or Doxycycline Monohydrate?
Both of these medicines work equally well to treat acne. The structure and water solubility of doxycycline monohydrate and doxycycline hyclate is the main difference between them. However, these variations have no impact on how effectively either drug performs after being absorbed into the body12
How Long Does Doxycycline Take To Start Healing Acne?
Doxycycline takes some time to start being effective, just like any other acne medications. Even if your acne may start getting better in just two weeks, the full effects of the treatment may not become visible for another three months.
When you notice fewer acne breakouts developing and your skin begins looking healthier, you’ll know doxycycline has started working. While many treatments can initially cause skin purging, doxycycline often may not cause this problem13
How to get Doxycycline?
Reviewed by dermatologists