NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Acne, Rosacea: Long Term Antibiotic Use

Long term antibiotics remain the mainstay of treatment for moderate to severe acne. Given increasing concern about appropriate long term use of antibiotics, the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group have produced advice to support local guidance.


There are no clear criteria for discontinuation, but regular review is recommended. In acute presentation of acne or rosacea, eight to twelve weeks is needed for improvement to be seen, so antibiotic treatment should be reviewed every two to three months. Many patients’ symptoms will clear with six months of antibiotic therapy, though in others treatment only controls the condition and may need to continue.


Patients on long term antibiotics for acne and rosacea should be reviewed at least six-monthly. More details are available in the NHSGGC primary care antibiotic guidance.