Erygel vs. Minocycline

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Topical treatment for acne. Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is a very common acne treatment you apply to the skin that may work better when combined with other topical medicines.Treats bacterial infections. Solodyn (Minocycline) is an effective way to treat certain skin infections, acne, and rosacea, but you'll need to use barrier methods of birth control since it can make birth control pills less effective and cause birth defects.
How it works
Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is a topical antibiotic. It fights bacteria that cause acne in oil (sebaceous) glands, and contains alcohol which dries out acne-affected areas.Solodyn (Minocycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It stops bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.
Type of medication
Acne agent
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Topical solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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Reviews for Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin)
of people say Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects

The Erygel FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Erygel side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Minocycline side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Minocycline »
Risk factors for serious side effects
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
      Detailed Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) risks & warnings »
      • Age 8 years or younger
      • Using oral birth control pills
      • Long antibiotic treatment period
          • Women of childbearing age
          Detailed Solodyn (Minocycline) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          See the FDA package insert
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          • Applying erythromycin to the skin reduces the amount of acne bacteria and "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
          • Available in a gel formulation which may be better if your skin is very oily.
          • Better choice if you're pregnant. erythromycin is categorized as pregnancy Category B (likely safe) as compared to similar topical medicines that are Category C (weigh risks vs benefits).
          • Clinical studies show it's effective against MRSA, a common skin infection, and it's commonly used to treat acne and rosacea.
          • Available as a generic, so it should be reasonably priced.
          • Solodyn (Minocycline) is less likely to cause sunburn than other tetracycline antibiotics.
          • Bacteria are less likely to become resistant to Solodyn (Minocycline) than other tetracycline antibiotics.
          Downsides and risks
          • There's a risk of irritation with anything you apply to your skin and this is no different. erythromycin, like other topical antibiotics, can cause skin irritation and may appear as redness, peeling, abnormal dryness or stinging, tightening, or burning sensations.
          • It's rare, that a serious allergic reaction would occur, but it's a good idea to test a small area of skin before using on any larger or sensitive areas
          • Studies show it works better when combined with other topical medicines to fight acne and reduce the risk of it losing its effectiveness over time.
          • Can cause severe inflammation of the large intestine (pseudomembranous colitis)
          • Stop using if you don't notice any improvement in your acne after 6-8 weeks. The most time you can use it is three months.
          • It can make birth control pills less effective, so people should use barrier methods of birth control like condoms or diaphragms while on Solodyn (Minocycline).
          • Can stain your teeth, mouth, and gums if you're using the tablets, or your skin if you're using the topical version, but this is temporary.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          • Very commonly used topical antibiotic to treat acne.
          • The only topical erythromycin in a gel formula.
          • Apply a thin film to clean and dry affected skin once or twice a day.
          • It may take 6-8 weeks before you see improvement in your acne.
          • Avoid getting into your eyes, nose or mouth.
          • Let your doctor know if you notice abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea after starting this medicine.
          • Using a moisturizer that doesn't block your pores (non-comedogenic) may help lessen common side effects of skin dryness and peeling.
          • Taking good care of your skin is an important part of treating acne. Lightly wash with warm water and non-soap-based or gentle cleanser.
          • Both men and women should use barrier methods of birth control while on Solodyn (Minocycline) since it can cause birth defects and make birth control pills less effective.
          • Can make you dizzy, so be careful if you're getting up from lying down or sitting. Don't drive until you know how it affects you.
          • Can stain your teeth, tongue and gums, but this is temporary.
          • Take this exactly how your doctor or pharmacist tells you until it's all gone.
          • Don't eat any dairy products or take any vitamins within 2 hours of taking Solodyn (Minocycline) because they can make the medication less effective.
          Learn more
          More about ErygelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about MinocyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert