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Oral Antibiotics: Minocycline

View the A-Detail™ on Minocycline (MinocinŽ).

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

How Do I 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 you are pregnant or if you are 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, you 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, you 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.

Can I Take 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?

  • MinocinŽ 50mg, 100mg caps (Lederle Pharm)
  • DynacinŽ 50mg, 75mg caps (Medicis)