Compare Renova vs. Tetracycline

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Renova (Tretinoin)

Prescription only
Treats acne and sun damage.

Renova (Tretinoin) isn't a cure for fine lines and wrinkles, but it's clinically proven to improve them.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 58 reviewsforRenova
Kills bacteria and treats acne.

Acnecycline (Tetracycline) treats many different types of infections and is cheap, but dosing and drug interactions may be somewhat of a hassle.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 153 reviewsforTetracycline
Upsides
  • You only need to apply it once a day, usually in the evening.
  • Most people who reported having skin irritation said that it was mild.
  • Part of a complete program to help you take better care of your skin.
  • Effectively treats a wide range of conditions and is used for many different types of infections.
  • Effective for acne.
  • Cheap.
  • Good choice for people on kidney dialysis who need an antibiotic. Tetracycline isn't removed by dialysis, so the dose doesn't need to be changed.
Downsides
  • It may take up to 6 months to see the full benefit for facial wrinkles.
  • Not a good choice for women who want to become or are pregnant
  • Can change the color and texture of your skin if used long-term.
  • You need to be careful about avoiding any sunlight or artificial tanning while using it.
  • It doesn't work for deep wrinkles.
  • For most infections you'll need to take it 4 times a day (or every 6 hours).
  • It needs to be spaced out from food, milk, vitamins, and some medications.
  • Can cause tongue darkening, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Tetracycline makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and ultraviolet light. Wear sunblock and protective clothing, and don't go tanning.
  • Interacts with birth control and makes it less effective. Use a backup form of birth control if you don't want to get pregnant.
  • Not a good choice for children ages 8 and under. Tetracycline can cause permanent staining of teeth in babies and young children.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
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Reviews
58 reviews so far
41%
saidit'sworth it
28%
saiditworked well
28%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Renova (Tretinoin)?

Leave a review
153 reviews so far
45%
saidit'sworth it
29%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Acnecycline (Tetracycline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Mild skin reactions
    100%
  • Severe local irritation
    7%
  • Any side effect
    4%
  • Skin hypo- or hyperpigmentation
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Acnecycline (Tetracycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Allergic reactions
    • Allergy to fish or fish products
  • Harm to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Changes in teeth
    • Pregnancy
    • Age younger than 8 years
  • Reduced effectiveness of birth control pills
  • Decreased kidney function and kidney injury
    • Kidney disease
    • Taking Acnecycline (Tetracycline) past the expiration date
  • Sunburn
    • Exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Increased pressure in the brain
    • Taking with Acnecycline (Tetracycline) with other medicines that can cause this effect (e.g. Accutane)
  • Liver injury
    • Kidney disease
    • Large doses of Acnecycline (Tetracycline)
  • Development of more serious infections
    • Long-term use of Acnecycline (Tetracycline)
See more detailed risks and warnings