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Minocycline as Acne Treatment Option

Click here to view the A-Detail™ on Minocycline (Minocin®).

Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic which is used for acne treatment. It is the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that are important. If your patient's inflamed pimples do not respond well to topical acne antibiotics or if they have acne on many areas of their body, antibiotics in pill form can be more effective, easier to take and more convenient.

How Do Patients Use This Medication?

This is best taken on an empty stomach, food reduces its absorption by about 10% and milk reduces it by 33%, this drug is not used in a topical form. Minocycline should not be used if one is pregnant or breast-feeding.

How Well Does It Work?

  • Helps reduce acne pimples by an average of 60%

How Does It Work?

This is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, that is, it inhibits the growth of bacteria, it has an anti-inflammatory action which is certainly important when treating conditions like acne. It is used in the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Perioral dermatitis
Some of its other uses include the following:
  • Actinomycosis
  • Amebiasis
  • Anthrax
  • Brucellosis
  • Chancroid
  • Cholera
  • Gonorrhea
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urethritis
  • Syphilis
  • Rocky mountain spotted fever

Will There Be Side Effects?

As with many other antibiotics, patients may experience indigestion and abdominal upset, dizziness is a side effect that usually settles after a few days. Skin pigmentation, particularly on the face and mucous membranes may occur with chronic use. Children under the age of 8 who are given this drug may see pigmentation of their teeth. However, this is rarely seen in adults.

Rashes are uncommon but when they are seen, such as with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, they can be severe. Benign intracranial hypertension is only seen rarely, symptoms include headaches and blurry vision. However, patients can get headaches without developing this complication. Suppression of bone marrow and kidney toxicity is very rare.

A hypersensitivity reaction to hives, which includes angioedema and joint swelling, has been reported. Drug induced hepatitis and drug induced systemic lupus are rare.

Taking Other Medications?

  • Care needs to be taken when minocycline is used with anticoagulants
  • Antacids should be avoided because they will reduce absorption of the antibiotic

Which Brands Are Available?

  • Minocin® 50mg, 100mg caps (Stiefel)
  • Dynacin® 50mg, 75mg caps (Medicis)