Efracea is a slow-release tablet which is used to relieve symptoms of acne rosacea. Because of its prolonged release action, it only needs to be taken once a day, whereas gels and creams for the condition may need to be applied twice a day. It contains an agent called doxycycline, which is a type of antibiotic. The manufacturers of Efracea are Galderma, and you can only buy these tablets in the UK with a prescription.
- Once-daily antibiotic capsule
- Helps to revive affected skin cells
- Provides alternative for those who don’t like gel
Rosacea is often a lifelong skin condition, which undergoes periods of activity and inactivity. It mainly occurs on the face, and can cause a range of symptoms such as: thickening of the skin; the appearance through the skin of blood vessels; redness; and flushing. For some, small raised spots called papules may appear. Sometimes, pustules, or pus-filled lumps, may occur too.
The condition is not uncommon. According to the NHS, it affects around 1 in 10 people in the UK. However, despite this, relatively little is known about what causes rosacea. Many doctors speculate that it is provoked by dilated blood vessels, which might have been rendered so by exposure to sunlight. Others point towards small mites which live on the skin, called demodex folliculorum, as a possible cause. In small amounts, these mites are harmless. But when they are present in more abundant numbers, the bacteria they emit may cause the skin to respond by producing the above symptoms.
Peptides are also thought to be a factor. These are tiny molecules in the skin, which might be pushed into periods of higher activity by certain stimuli, such as spicy food, alcohol consumption or feelings of anxiety. When active, these molecules are thought to encourage the immune system to react, and release inflammatory chemicals which cause redness and swelling.
Although the exact cause of rosacea has not yet been determined, there are a range of triggers which those with the condition indicate as being instigators of an outbreak. These include dairy products, alcohol, prolonged exposure to UV rays, caffeine, hot or cold weather conditions, and stress.
The condition is treatable with prescription medication. The functioning constituent of Efracea is an antibiotic agent called doxycycline, which is otherwise used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. How it works in treating rosacea is not completely understood, as the exact causes of this skin condition are not yet clear. Nonetheless, it is speculated that doxycycline helps to clear up pustules by preventing the spread of skin-based bacteria. It is also thought to reduce inflammation which can cause redness and raised bumps.
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Read the instructions provided in the patient information leaflet prior to use, and follow the directions given to you by your prescriber. Taking these measures will help the treatment to work efficiently and limit your susceptibility to side effects.
- Take as directed.
- In the majority of cases, this will be likely be one tablet a day, taken in the morning.
- Swallow the capsule whole with water.
- Milk and dairy products, or any other food, drink or multivitamin high in calcium may affect the function of this tablet. Wait for at least 2-3 hours after your dose before consuming any items with a high calcium content.
- It is important to refrain from exposing your skin to sunlight for long or intense periods during use.
- Do not exceed the prescribed dose.
- Never make up for a forgotten dose with a double dose. If you forget to take it, skip the one you have missed and carry on the course as scheduled.
The information provided above is only a summary of the directions you will need to follow when using this item. Refer to the leaflet for more detailed instructions.
If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or swelling of the face, lips, mouth or tongue, or any other side effects which concern you, seek immediate medical advice from your nearest doctor or hospital.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Inflammation of the nose, throat or sinuses, fungal infection, anxiety, headache, increase in blood pressure, diarrhoea, upper abdominal pain, dry mouth, back pain, or changes in results of blood tests.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Hypersensitivity, changes in the levels of certain blood cells, increased pressure in the brain, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, anorexia, liver damage, skin rashes or hives, abnormal reaction to sunlight, or a rise in blood urea levels.
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Damaged red blood cells, yeast infection around the anus or genitals, brown-black microscopic discolouration of thyroid tissue, inflammation of the tongue, difficulty swallowing, inflammation of the intestine or gullet, flaky skin, or worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus.
The information provided above is not comprehensive, and a more detailed list of side effects can be located in the leaflet provided with the product.
Taking it with other medicines
Disclose any information relating to other treatments you are currently using when undergoing consultation. This item may not be suitable for use in conjunction with the following: isotretinoin; retinoids; treatments for ulcers or heartburn; blood thinners; drugs for diabetes; antacids; cholestyramine; oral contraceptives; certain antibiotics, including penicillins; barbiturates; rifampicin; calcium, magnesium, aluminium, iron or bismuth supplements; carbamazepine; diphenylhydantoin and phenytoin; primidone; cyclosporin; or methoxyfluorane.
Conditions to look out for
Do not take this treatment if you have a condition causing the absence of acid in the stomach called achlorhydria, or have had surgery on the upper part of the gut. It may also not be suitable for those who have: liver disease; a predisposition to candidiasis overgrowth; an oral or vaginal yeast or fungal infection; a muscle disease called myasthenia gravis; colitis; oesophageal irritation or ulceration; or rosacea which affects the eyes.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medicine must not be used during pregnancy or for long periods during breastfeeding. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, talk to your GP for specific advice.
Driving and using machinery
Your capacity to drive is not likely to be affected by this medicine.
Food and drink
Take this tablet with a sufficient amount of water, to reduce the risk of irritation in the gullet.
Do not consume dairy products at the same time as taking Efracea as these may inhibit its effectiveness. Wait at least 2-3 hours after taking this medication before eating or drinking dairy items.
This drug contains sucrose. Let your prescriber know if you have any sugar intolerances.
Can I still drink alcohol?
It is not recommended that you drink alcohol during use, as some antibiotics are inhibited by it, and the consumption of alcohol may increase rosacea symptoms and reduce the efficiency of the medication.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. It is unlikely that you will be any less able to drive when using this treatment. However, if you notice any side effects which may make driving difficult or unsafe, do not drive and let your doctor know.
Can I use this medication while pregnant?
It is not suitable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How do I store it?
Keep it at a temperature below 30°C and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
These capsules are made up of the following ingredients: doxycycline, hypromellose, methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate copolymer (1:1), triethyl citrate, talc, titanium dioxide, macrogol 400, yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide, polysorbate 80, sugar spheres (maize starch, sucrose), gelatin, black iron oxide, titanium dioxide, shellac, propylene glycol, indigo carmine aluminium lake, allura red AC aluminium lake (E129), brilliant blue FCF aluminium lake, and D & C yellow no. 10 aluminium lake.
Do not take them if you are allergic to any of the above substances.
Is it available over the counter?
To buy Efracea you will need a prescription.
Is it right for me?
If you are experiencing rosacea symptoms, see your GP. They will be able to review your condition and issue treatment where required.
We do not provide this medication through our site.
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