Blepharitis and antibiotics
Blepharitis medications like antibiotics taken by mouth are a common treatment for certain types of blepharitis. However, the favorable effect of antibiotics on blepharitis is probably not due solely to their germ-killing actions. These medications have a secondary action by improving the oil composition of the eyelid Meibomian glands. Thus, tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, and other similar antibiotics usually alleviate the eye symptoms related to infectious (bacterial) blepharitis.
When taken properly, tetracycline is a safe and inexpensive antibiotic drug for the treatment of infectious blepharitis, similar to its use by dermatologists in the treatment of acne. Mild side effects may occur in some individuals, generally an upset stomach with slight nausea or loss of appetite. Less frequently, a persistent skin rash, which is a significant adverse reaction, may require stopping this treatment. Because of possible side effects, particularly staining (yellowing) the teeth (and bones) of fetuses and pre-adolescent children, tetracycline is generally avoided in pregnant or breast-feeding women and in children under age 12 years (before permanent teeth are formed).
Oral Blepharitis Treatment
The optimal dosage of tetracycline varies from person to person. The initial treatment usually is one capsule 4 times daily. This can be reduced gradually as improvement occurs. The medication should be taken at least one hour before or two hours after meals to ensure adequate absorption from the intestines. While taking tetracycline, you should avoid multivitamins, iron tablets, and antacids, since these could interfere with adequate absorption. Milk and dairy products can also reduce the absorption of tetracycline and thus minimize its efficacy. Minocycline and doxycycline are equally effective for the treatment of chronic blepharitis; they are taken less frequently but are more expensive, so the balance between cost and frequency of dosing will be adjusted individually. Oral Blepharitis medication is a well-known blepharitis treatment that might be sometimes expensive. Alternative treatments exist and described in detail in previous posts with much less cost.