Oracea is Not an Antibiotic, Apparently

Written by on April 16, 2012 in Antibiotics, Oracea (40mg doxycycline) with 5 Comments

This claim from the Oracea web site caught my eye. Oracea is NOT an antibiotic. A bit of poetic marketing license perhaps?

Oracea is a 40mg dose of the antibiotic doxycycline, which is a member of the tetracycline family. 30mg of the dose of doxycycline is immediate release, and 10 mg is locked inside a coating that means it is released into the blood stream more slowly than the 30mg – a delayed release. So at its heart Oracea is 2 doses of doxycycline in one tablet.

The Oracea Prescribing Information tells us the “ORACEA is a tetracycline class drug”.

The unique claim of Oracea, compared to for eg. 100mg of doxycycline is that the blood serum levels of Oracea stay below a concentration that the marketing materials called the antimicrobial threshold. Below this concentration, Oracea is said to not kill bacteria. Further, the reduced concentration leads to lower levels of adverse reactions and to less contribution to any possible antibiotic resistances. So that is the basis of the claim that Oracea is not an antibiotic.

A wee bit cute and potentially confusing ? I think so.

No matter how you market it, Oracea is still 40 mg of the antibiotic doxycycline.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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5 Reader Comments

  1. Jen says:

    Are they even allowed to say that?? It seems this is really on the edge of gross misrepresentation! How can one respond to this?

  2. Brady Barrows says:


    I totally agree with you on this. Oracea is an antibiotic just as much as doxycycline is an antibiotic.

  3. Deb says:

    Dave, I have used Oracea since June 2011. Like all rosacea treatments that have ever been prescribed, it worked great for 6 months and then quit. The rosacea is getting progressively worse. It does not seem to work at all now, but I still take it, because I am afraid to stop. Will it make the raw hamburger symptoms even worse? Does anyone have experience with this?

  4. pl_blackbird says:

    Hi Deb, interestingly I used Oracea last year also for several months. When I stopped my symptoms returned over some time, but they are relatively similar to what I had before Oracea and I’d say relatively stable. I have just got back on Oracea 4 days ago, and I don’t see any improvement so far, even though in the past I got a relief of symptoms within 48 hrs. I don’t know what I’m going to do if this doesn’t work.

    Dave – the statement about Oracea you pointed out is an absolute BS, pardon me, and should be illegal.

  5. Jean says:

    Oracea is not an antibiotic. An antibiotic by definition is something that kills bacteria. This does not, therefore it cannot be called an antibiotic. I don’t understand why this is confusing.

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