Efracea belongs to a unique type of medicines, usually called slow-relief tablets. It is successfully used in order to relieve the symptoms of acne rosacea. Due to its prolonged release action, just one dose daily is enough to produce the desired effects, as opposed to various creams and gels with the same intended use which are often supposed to be used two or more times in one day. Based on doxycycline as an active ingredient, Efracea is a specific type of antibiotic, developed by Galderma pharmaceutical company. You can buy it within the UK only with a prescription.

What’s on this page?

As a very successful alternative to gel or cream treatments of the same condition, Efracea is surprisingly effective in reviving affected skill cells. Here we will take a look at its mechanism of action, possible side effects and contraindications.

But first, let’s take a step back.

What causes rosacea?

Rosacea is, for a majority of those affected, a lifelong skin condition which goes through a succession of periods of activity and inactivity. Usually, it is localised to the face area where it can cause an array of unpleasant symptoms:

  • Thickening of the skin
  • Appearance of blood vessels through the skin
  • Redness
  • Flushing
  • Small raised spots (papules)
  • Pustules or pus-filled lumps (in a limited number of cases)

This condition is, on the other hand, very common. Within the United Kingdom alone, around one in ten people is affected by rosacea. However, despite this, the scientists have yet to provide a definite answer to the question of root causes of this condition. The leading hypothesis states that dilated blood vessels play a crucial role in the onset of this condition while they are, in turn, caused by exposure to sunlight. However, other experts put forward theories about a number of other possible culprits like mites living on the skin (demodex folliculorum) or certain chemical compounds that exist naturally within the skin.

While mites living on the skin are harmless in amounts they are usually present, if they become overpopulated, the bacteria that live around them can also start reproducing rapidly, causing the characteristic skin reaction. On the other hand, on a more bio-chemical level, some scientists point out to the possible roles of peptides. Peptides are molecules that naturally exist within the skin, but which can enter into the period of higher activity by certain stimuli, most notably, alcohol consumption, spicy food and even strong emotions. Once active, these molecules can contribute to the over-activity of the immune system which in turn releases certain chemicals that are responsible for the said symptoms.

Can you prevent rosacea?

In spite of the fact that the scientific community has yet to come to a consensus regarding the causes of rosacea, many outbreak triggers have been successfully identified, so people affected can try and plan ahead how to potentially avoid exposure to said stimuli. The most common ones include:

  • Dairy products
  • Alcohol
  • Prolonged exposure to UV rays
  • Caffeine
  • Extreme weather conditions (heat or cold)
  • Stress and intense emotions

Efracea as rosacea treatment

Rosacea is somewhat unpleasant conditions, primarily due to cosmetic reasons, but the good news is that it is treatable with certain prescription medication, including Efracea. This medicine relies on its active ingredient doxycycline in order to produce the desired effects. Doxycycline, in turn, is an antibiotic used in the treatment of bacterial infections. The exact mechanism of action when it comes to mitigating rosacea symptoms is, as of now, still unknown which is mostly related to unidentified causes of the condition.

However, the medical experts that conducted research into this speculate that doxycycline helps to eliminate pustules by preventing the spread of bacteria living on the skin, while at the same time mitigating the inflammatory process which causes redness and raised bumps.

How to use Efracea?

Efracea is very easy to use and any additional questions you may have should be answered either during the consultations with your doctor or in the official patient information leaflet that you can find within every pack of the medicine.

  • Always take as directed
  • Usually, the doctor will prescribe one tablet each day early in the morning
  • Take the whole capsule with water
  • Don’t consume milk or other dairy products (or any other food or drink rich in calcium) at least 2-3 hours after using Efracea
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for prolonged periods
  • Do not exceed the prescribed dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it later during the day when you remember and continue with your treatment as usual
  • If you remember a missed dose when the next one is due, just skip it and continue as usual
  • Never double up the dose to make up for the missed one

Are there any Efracea side effects?

No matter which medicine you might be using, it is always important to be aware of the possible adverse effects that might occur as an unwanted result of the treatment. For most medicines, the most severe side effect that cannot be anticipated in most cases is an allergic reaction to one or several components of the drug. If you notice the symptoms of an allergic reaction such as swelling of the face or difficulties breathing, contact the emergency services immediately.

The most common side effects of Efracea, observed in roughly 1 in 10 users include:

  • Inflammation of the nose, throat or sinuses
  • Fungal infection
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain (upper abdomen)
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Back pain

Rare side effects of Efracea are documented in 1 in 1000 users:

  • Hypersensitivity
  • Increased blood pressure in the brain
  • Inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart
  • General malaise
  • Anorexia
  • Liver damage
  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Abnormal reaction to sunlight

Finally, those side effects that are considered to be very rare and documented in just 1 in 10.000 people include:

  • Damage to the red blood cells
  • Yeast infection around the anus or genitals
  • Brown-black microscopic discoloration of the thyroid tissue
  • Inflammation of the tongue or intestine
  • Flaky skin
  • Exacerbation of lupus symptoms

Efracea drug interactions

It is important to disclose to your doctor all information regarding other medicines you might be using. Adverse interactions have been documented between Efracea and following medicines:

  • Isotretinoin
  • Retinoids
  • Blood thinners
  • Drugs for diabetes
  • Antacids
  • Cholestyramine
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Some antibiotics
  • Barbiturates
  • Rifampicin
  • Calcium, magnesium, aluminium iron and bismuth supplements

Efracea contraindications

This medicine will also not be suitable for people who recently had surgery in the abdomen, women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding and people affected by any one of the following conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • Predisposition to candidiasis
  • Oral or vaginal yeast or fungal infection
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Colitis
  • Oesophageal irritation
  • Ulceration