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Thinking About Stopping Oxytetracyline - Thoughts?

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I'll allergic to BP. My doc put me on oxytetracyline in September even though my acne isn't usually of the inflamed type. I will occasionally have cysts though, and when I went to see him my skin did look like absolute ****.

At the same time I started using a 2% salicylic acid exfoliant most days in the morning, after washing with a polyethylene scrub. My acne has got better I guess, but it hasn't cleared completely, and on areas where I'm not using the salicylic acid (chest, bum) I'm still getting the odd cyst. I had a HUGE lump on my nose recently which effectively ruined my life for a good couple of weeks.

It's been six months now on the oxytetracyline and it's been a pain modifying my diet and lifestyle around the 12 hour gaps in dosages and what I can and can't eat within 2-3 hours either side. Also there have been days where I fell asleep before taking the pill and this leaves me worried about how the gaps are affecting my contraception. I've also had thrush a couple of times.

Basically I'm not sure oxytetracyline has done much for me. My skin is still oily and I still have non-inflamed, and occasionally inflamed acne. My review date with my doc is coming up and I live 250 miles away (I'm at college). Do you think I am right to stop the medicine? Do you think I even need to go all the way back home (costing me about £50) to tell him this or could I just write him a letter or send him an email or leave a message with the receptionist instead?

Is anything bad going to happen once I come off the antibiotics?

Thanks :)

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I took Oxytetracycline in my teens and it worked alright for me at the time. I can't say I ever paid much attention to what I could/couldn't eat or when I should take it, that didn't seem to make much difference for me personally. I think I took it for about six months and when it finished, that was it and I didn't go back for a while. It cleared things up for me at the time but antibiotics like that tend to mask whatever the root cause is so they might work at the time but they don't always fix the problem. That's how it was for me anyway.

The last antibiotic I took - Lymecycline - lasted about nine months I think. When that stopped working, I asked my doctor if I should continue and they said I aught to stop. So I stopped it dead and once it was out of my system, my skin went crazy. I later learned that it's better to taper off and gradually end it rather than stop dead. I'm in that position right now as I'm coming to the end of six month course of Doxycycline next next month. Rat.her than stop dead, I'll take it every other day for maybe three weeks and then every few days when the number of pills left is down to single figures. I could get it reviewed at that point but I won't bother unless my doctor calls me. I'll see what happens and how my skin goes when the Doxy is out of my system. Personally, I think I've managed to clear most of my acne through diet rather than antibiotics so I'll take maybe a month or two to see if the dietary changes alone are enough to keep it at bay.

Six months is certainly long enough to see improvement and it's probably wise to take a little break to let your body recover. Plus, if you don't think it's doing a lot for you, might be worth trying other things or looking at other areas such as diet and so on. Either way, my advice would be to taper off and reduce the dosage gradually over the last few weeks so that your body doesn't have to get used to the antibiotics just stopping suddenly. From there, it's totally up to you whether you go back to see your doctor; you're not obliged to carry on and on with the antibiotics and you're not obliged to go back and see them for a review. You could if you wanted, for peace of mind or whatever if you felt it was needed or if you wanted to try something else, but I personally wouldn't say it's essential to go.


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Thanks so much for your thorough reply :) Tapering it is then! Trouble is, I only have 22 pills left, and the dosage is 4 a day (2, twice a day). What do you think of this plan? I'll drop it to 2 a day (1, twice a day) starting today and continue that for say, 5 days? Then I'll have 12 left, and I'll take one a day for the next 5 days, then I'll have 7 left, so over the next two weeks I'll take one every other day. Please feel free to offer up any amendments to that if you think there's a better way of doing it!

Thanks a lot for your help :)

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