Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic in the Tetracycline family. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat a range of bacterial infections, including those of the respiratory tract, urinary tract and skin.
Oxytetracycline was a very common acne treatment in the 20th century. Oxytetracycline is still occasionally used as an acne treatment, but other Tetracycline family antibiotics (eg. Minocycline, Doxycycline) are increasingly used for this purpose. Oxytetracycline is available in oral and topical formulations.
Clinical studies have reported that Oxytetracycline can be a very effective treatment for some patients with moderate to severe acne symptoms. Unfortunately, acne-causing P. acnes bacteria that are resistant to Oxytetracycline (and other Tetracycline family antibiotics) are becoming increasingly common in many places around the world. In head-to-head testing, the newer generation of Tetracycline antibiotics (eg. Minocycline, Doxycycline) tend to be more effective at killing P. acnes bacteria and controlling acne symptoms than the older Tetracycline antibiotics, such as Oxytetracycline. However, this may vary from region to region.