List of 20 Best Medicines for Acne - Composition, Dosage, Popularity & More (2019)

Acne is a medical condition that occurs on the skin when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells. It is very common, affecting about 10 million cases per year in India and also the most common in teenagers and young adults.

Symptoms of acne include uninflamed blackheads, pus-filled pimples or large, red and tender bumps.

Over-the-counter medications containing ingredients including benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur are considered to be safe for acne. If acne still persists, consult a doctor.

List of Top 20 Medicines for Acne

  1. Adapalene
  2. Azelaic Acid
  3. Benzoyl Peroxide
  4. Clarithromycin
  5. Clindamycin
  6. Clindamycin and Tretinoin
  7. Doxycycline
  8. Erythromycin
  9. Isotretinoin
  10. Lincomycin
  11. Minocycline
  12. Nadifloxacin
  13. Novaclar
  14. Sarecycline
  15. Spiramycin
  16. Sulfacetamide and Sulfur
  17. Tazarotene
  18. Topical Clarithromycin
  19. Tretinoin
  20. Triclosan

Top 20 Medicines for Acne in India (Tablets, Syrups, Ointment, Gels & More)

1. Adapalene: Treats acne

  • Brand name – Adaferin
  • Composition – Adapalene
  • Popularity – 8
  • Adapalene binds to specific retinoic acid receptors in the nucleus, leading to specific gene expression and stimulates skin growth through cellular differentiation, inflammatory processes, and keratinization of follicular epithelial cells.
  • Dosage – It is available in the form of gel and cream, to be applied over the affected area after washing it, once a day.
  • Price – Adaferin is supplied as a 15gm (0.1%) gel for ₹238.
  • Not recommended for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

2. Azelaic Acid: Used for skin conditions like acne

  • Brand name – Aziderm
  • Composition – Azelaic Acid
  • Popularity – 8
  • Azelaic acid works by killing acne bacteria that infect skin pores and also decreases the production of keratin.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of cream or gel, a thin film is applied twice a day over the affected area.
  • Price – Aziderm is supplied as 20% cream (15gm) for ₹238.50.
  • Not recommended for use in children below 12 years of age.

3. Benzoyl Peroxide: Treats mild to moderate acne

  • Brand name – Acneguard
  • Composition – Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Popularity – 8
  • Benzoyl Peroxide has an antibacterial, irritant, keratolytic, comedolytic, and anti-inflammatory activity, which upon topical application decomposes to release oxygen which is lethal to the bacteria P. acnes.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of a gel, it is applied once or twice a day.
  • Price – Acne guard is supplied in the form of a gel (30mL) for ₹120.
  • Extreme caution is required in children.

4. Clarithromycin: Treats bacterial skin infections

  • Brand name – Clarycin
  • Composition Clarithromycin
  • Popularity – 7
  • Clarithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic. It prevents bacteria from multiplying by acting as a protein synthesis inhibitor.
  • Dosage – Recommended dose for skin infection is 0.25gm twice daily, up to 0.5gm twice daily for severe infections, for 7-14 days.
  • Price – Clarycin is supplied as a strip of 10 tablets. Each strip is of ₹230.
  • Contraindicated in pregnant women, patients with a history of acute porphyria, QT prolongation, jaundice or liver dysfunction and those taking other drugs such as terfenadine, astemizole or ergot alkaloids.

5. Clindamycin: Used for acne and other bacterial infections

  • Brand name – Clincin
  • CompositionClindamycin
  • Popularity – 8
  • Clindamycin has a primarily bacteriostatic effect which inhibits ribosomal translocation, in a similar way to macrolides.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of tablets, the usual dose range is 150 to 300mg, twice per day.
  • Price – Clincin is supplied as a strip of 10 capsules (300mg). Each strip is of ₹225.05.

6. Clindamycin and Tretinoin: Treats acne

  • Brand name – Ziana
  • CompositionClindamycin (1.2%) and Tretinoin (0.025%)
  • Popularity – 7
  • This combination contains antibiotic and retinoid, prescribed for acne, where Tretinoin reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands.
  • This medication should be applied topically, as directed by your physician.
  • Price – 60g of Ziana is available for ₹1000.
  • Contraindicated in patients with bowel inflammation and sun exposure can cause skin irritation.

7. Doxycycline: Treats bacterial skin infection

  • Brand name – Minicycline
  • CompositionDoxycycline
  • Popularity – 7
  • Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic and can pass through the lipid bilayer of bacteria. It reversibly binds and blocks the binding of aminoacyl tRNA to the mRNA and inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of capsules, along with food. The usual dose is 200 mg on the first day of treatment in divided doses, followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg per day.
  • Price – Minicycline is supplied as a strip containing 10 capsules; each strip of ₹11.11.

8. Erythromycin: Treats bacterial infections

  • Brand name – Okamycin
  • CompositionErythromycin
  • Popularity – 8
  • Erythromycin acts by penetrating the bacterial cell membrane which prevents subsequent protein synthesis and kills the bacteria.
  • Dosage – Recommended dose is 250 mg every 6 hours taken one hour before meals and for children, the dose range is 30 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses.
  • Price – Okamycin is supplied as 20gm cream of ₹66.
  • Contraindicated to patients who are taking terfenadine or Astemizole drugs.

9. Isotretinoin: Treats severe acne

  • Brand name – Acnon
  • Composition – Isotretinoin
  • Popularity – 7
  • Isotretinoin induces programmatic cell death in various cells in the body which may be instigated in the meibomian glands and is important for treatment of acne.
  • Apply a thin layer of this gel, as directed by your physician.
  • Price – Acnon is supplied in the form of a gel (0.025%, 20gm) for ₹55.
  • Not recommended for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

10. Lincomycin: Treats certain bacterial infections

  • Brand name – Lycin
  • Composition – Lincomycin
  • Popularity – 7
  • Lincomycin works by inhibiting the protein synthesis which is essential for the bacteria to grow.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of capsules, syrup, gel and via injection. For anaerobic infections, the usual dose is 500 mg 3-4 times per day. For topical use, 2% gel is applied as directed.
  • Price – Lycin is supplied as a strip containing 10 capsules (500mg). Each strip is of ₹94.

11. Minocycline: Frequently used for acne vulgaris

  • Brand name – Minolin
  • Composition – Minocycline
  • Popularity – 6
  • Minocycline is a broad-spectrum tetracycline antibiotic which acts by inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the body.
  • Dosage – It is available in the form of tablets, capsules, and syrup, to be taken with or without food. The dose for children over 12 years is 50mg, every 12 hours. For adults, 100 mg every 12 hours.
  • Price – Minolin (50 mg) is supplied as a strip containing 10 tablets; each strip is of ₹34.

12. Nadifloxacin: Treats acne vulgaris and bacterial skin infections

  • Brand name – Nadibact
  • Composition – Nadifloxacin
  • Popularity – 7
  • Nadifloxacin works by inhibiting certain processes that are essential for the bacteria to grow and increase in number.
  • Available in the form of cream or gel for topical use; apply a thin layer over the affected area as directed by your physician.
  • Price – 1% Nadibact (10 gm) is supplied for ₹48.25
  • This medicine is not recommended for use in children below 14 years of age.

13. Sarecycline: Treat pimples

  • Brand name – Seysara
  • Composition – Sarecycline
  • Popularity – 5
  • Sarecycline is a tetracycline-derived narrow spectrum antibiotic used which works by reducing the inflammation in the pimples that are the non-nodular type.
  • Dosage – Sarecycline is available in tablet form and should be taken once a day, either with or without food.
  • Not indicated for use in children below 9 years and in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

14. Novaclar: Cures skin infection

  • Composition – Clarithromycin
  • Popularity – 7
  • Clarithromycin works by inhibiting the bacterial growth.
  • Dosage – The recommended dose of this medicine is 125mg, twice daily.
  • Price – Packing of Novaclar consists of 6 tablets and is priced at ₹120.00.

15. Spiramycin: Treats infection of soft tissue

  • Brand name – Rovamycin
  • Composition – Spiramycin
  • Popularity – 6
  • Spiramycin inhibits translocation by binding to bacterial 50S ribosomal subunits and is a potent inhibitor of the binding to the ribosome of both donor and acceptor substrates.
  • Dosage – It is available in the form of tablets. The recommended dose range for adults is 1 to 2 grams, twice a day or 500mg to 1gm three times per day. For children, dose range is 25mg/kg, two times per day.
  • Price – Rovamycin is supplied as a strip containing 10 tablets of ₹79.26.

16.Sulfacetamide and Sulfur: Cures acne, rosacea, and seborrhea

  • Brand name – Rosula
  • Composition – Sulfacetamide + Sulfur
  • Popularity – 6
  • Sulfacetamide inhibits the growth of the bacterium P. acnes associated with acne, while sulfur facilitates the removal of dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of a lotion to apply topically. Apply a thin film with light massaging, 1 to 3 times daily.
  • Contraindicated in patients with kidney disease.

17. Tazarotene: Treats psoriasis, acne, and sun damaged skin

  • Brand name – Zorotene
  • Composition – Tazarotene
  • Popularity – 7
  • An active form of tazarotene binds to all three members of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and is expected to modify gene expression.
  • Dosage – Available in the form of a gel for topical application, tazarotene is applied once in the evening.
  • Price – Supplied in the form of a gel, Zorotene (15gm) 0.1% is of ₹110.

18. Topical Clarithromycin: Treats skin and skin structure infections

  • Brand name – Clarian
  • Composition – Clarithromycin
  • Popularity – 8
  • Clarithromycin is a member of macrolide antibiotic which binds to the 50S subunit of bacterial ribosome and inhibits translocation.
  • Available in the form of gel or lotion, a thin layer is applied over the affected area.
  • Price – Clarian is supplied in the form of a 15gm gel for ₹40.
  • Clarithromycin is not recommended for use in children below 12 years of age.

19. Tretinoin: Treats acne and rough facial skin

  • Brand name – Treclin
  • Composition – Clindamycin 1%+ Tretinoin 0.025%
  • Popularity – 7
  • Clindamycin is an antibiotic and treats bacterial infections of the skin while tretinoin is a retinoid which slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
  • Dosage – Available for topical use, a thin layer of tretinoin is applied over the affected area, twice a day.
  • Price – Treclin is supplied as a 10gm gel for ₹64.

20. Triclosan: Treats acne and disinfection of skin

  • Brand name – Senzof
  • Composition – Potassium nitrate 5 % +Sodium monofluorophosphate 0.7 % +Triclosan 0.3 %
  • Popularity – 6
  • At lower concentrations, this medication appears bacteriostatic and is seen to target bacteria mainly by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis.
  • Available in the form as soaps, creams, paste mouthwashes, and cleaning supplies. Topical use of this medication should be used as directed.
  • Price – Senzof (50 gm) paste is supplied for ₹72.60.


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