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What is it

Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

Brand names with manufacturer

Minocin, Acnamino, Minoz, Divaine, Cyclimycin


This is a prescription only drug.



Minocycline is used for treating many bacterial infections. The drug belongs to tetracyclines class of antibiotics. Thus, it can inhibit the growth of microorganisms. This antibiotic is only useful for treating bacterial infections by inhibiting and affecting the functioning of bacterial growth.

Minocycline has been sold as the best acne therapy since 1970. It can kill acne bacteria better than any other drug. It has an anti-inflammatory effect as well that helps in reducing the swelling, redness as well as the tenderness of the pimples. The inflammatory effect takes place, even if the drug cannot kill the bacteria causing acne.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the drug is sometimes used to treat swelling and pain of the joints. Thus, it is prescribed for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Minocycline is used to treat bacterial infections of the body, such as urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, gonorrhea, tick fever, Chlamydia infections, etc. Minocycline is also given to patients with anthrax infections or those patients who cannot be given penicillin.

This drug is ineffective against cold, flu, and other viral infections.

What should I know before taking this drug

How to take it

Take the medicine with a full glass of water. It can be taken on an empty stomach or one to two hours before eating.

Never crush or chew the extended release tablets or capsules.

Limit or avoid drinking alcohol when taking minocycline.

There is no clear report regarding the effects of minocycline when eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice. Thus, avoid the fruit when taking the drug.

Make sure you complete the prescribed drug, even if the symptoms have improved. Stopping or skipping the dose may  lead to bacterial resistance to the drug, causing the infection to reappear.

Adverse reactions/side effects

Common side effects of minocycline include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Redness of the skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching of the vagina or anus
  • Hearing loss or ringing in ear
  • Black discoloration of the tongue
  • Changes in skin color
  • Sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • Hair loss
  • Sleepiness

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Some severe side effects include:

  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart)
  • Swelling of the lips, mouth and tongue
  • Hives
  • Swelling and/or inflammation of the vagina or vulva in women
  • Low blood counts
  • Low platelet or white blood cell count
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Severe headaches, dizziness due to increase in pressure inside the skull

When not to take the medicine

Do not take the drug is you are allergic to minocylline or any ingredient it contains. Tell your doctor beforehand if you are suffering from liver, kidney, asthma or sulfite allergy.



Children under the age of 8 years should not be given minocycline. The drug can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children.

Pregnant women

Do not take minocycline if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. The drug can cause harm to the fetus or lead to permanent discoloration of the tooth in the child later in life.

Lactating women

Minocycline is excreted through breast milk. This may affect the bone and tooth development of the nursing baby. Thus, never take minocycline without speaking to your doctor.


Minocycline can cause birth control pills to lose their effectiveness. Thus, speak to your doctor if you are on birth control pills, before taking this drug. It may lead to unwanted pregnancy.

What should I do if

I miss dose(s)

If you miss a dose, take it immediately when you remember about it. If it is time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose. Never double dose.

I take an overdose

Overdose may cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting. Call the emergency medical help if you experience the overdose symptoms.

What to discuss with the doctor/pharmacist

The drug may cause impairment of thinking ability or dizziness. Thus speak to your doctor about driving or operating machinery after taking a dose.

The antibiotic medication can cause diarrhea. This is an indication of a new infection. Thus, speak to your doctor and seek anti-diarrheal medications.

Drug interactions

Avoid use of iron supplements, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives about 2 hours before or after taking minocycline. The drug may make these supplements less effective.

Avoid the drug if you are using a penicillin antibiotic, blood thinner, ergot medicine or isotretinoin.

Dosage form

Minocycline is available in the form of tablets and  capsules. The tablets are sold in 500, 75 and 100 mg doses. The extended release tablets are also available. The drug can also be given in the form of an injection.


In case of gonorrhea with no complications, one has to take 200 mg minocycline per day. Chlamydia infection requires 100 mg minocycline every 12 hours, for a minimum of one week.

Meningococcal carriers are given 100 mg minocycline every 12 hours.

The dose for acne is  50 to 100 mg minocycline orally twice a day for 3 to 6 weeks or until one sees improvement in the acne.

The pediatric dose for bacterial infection includes 4 mg/kg minocyclne orally or IV initially followed by 2 mg/kg every 12 hours.


Store the drug at room temperature. Keep away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep away from children and pets.

Additional information, if any

Throw away any drug that has gone past its expiry date. Use of expired medication can cause damage to the kidneys.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: June 18, 2015