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  • About Minocycline

    Minocycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, among others.

    Minocycline Side Effects

  • If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking minocycline and seek emergency medical attention:
  • vision changes;
  • confusion;
  • an allergic reaction (swelling of your lips, face, or tongue, difficulty breathing);
  • a severe headache;
  • liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue);
  • blood problems (fever, fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding); or
  • genital sores or itching.
  • If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, continue to take minocycline and talk to your doctor:
  • dizziness or lightheadedness;
  • sensitivity to the sun;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite;
  • dark "furry" tongue, black tongue, or swollen tongue; or
  • vaginal yeast infection.
  • Minocycline Interactions

    Other drugs may interact with minocycline. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking antacids, calcium supplements, cholestyramine, choline and magnesium salicylates, medicines containing iron, laxatives containing magnesium, or oral contraceptives.
    Because tetracyclines have been shown to depress plasma prothrombin activity, patients who are on anticoagulant therapy may require downward adjustment of their anticoagulant dosage. Since bacteriostatic drugs may interfere with the bactericidal action of penicillin, it is advisable to avoid giving tetracycline-class drugs in conjunction with penicillin.
    Absorption of tetracyclines is impaired by antacids containing aluminum, calcium or magnesium , and iron-containing preparations.
    The concurrent use of tetracycline and methoxyflurane has been reported to result in fatal renal toxicity.
    Concurrent use of tetracyclines with oral contraceptives may render oral contraceptives less effective.

    Minocycline Dosages

    Oral forms-- Adults and teenagers: 200 mg to start, then 100 mg, 2 times a day, or 100 to 200 mg to start, then 50 mg, 4 times a day. Children age 8 and over: 1.8 mg per lb of body weight to start, then 0.9 mg per lb 2 times a day. Injection-- Adults and teenagers: 200 mg to start, then 100 mg, 2 times a day. Children age 8 and over: 1.8 mg per lb to start, then 0.9 mg per lb, 2 times a day.

    Minocycline Directions

    Take each dose of minocycline with a full glass of water (8 ounces). Minocycline may be taken on an empty stomach or with food or milk. Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours of taking minocycline as these products may reduce the effectiveness of minocycline.

    Minocycline and Pregnancy

    Use of minocycline is not recommended during the last half of pregnancy. Tetracyclines, such as minocycline, may cause the unborn infant's teeth to become discolored and may slow down the growth of the infant's teeth and bones if they are used during that time.
    Also, use of minocycline is not recommended because tetracyclines, such as minocycline, pass into breast milk. They may cause unwanted effects in the breast-fed baby. It may be necessary for you to stop breast-feeding during treatment with minocycline. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of the medicine with your dentist and doctor.


    This document is provided for information only. It is not a substitute for consultation with a physician, either to diagnose symptoms or prescribe treatment. Any dosages mentioned are general guidelines only, please follow the directions of your doctor or pharmacist exactly when taking medication. We have made every effort to ensure that this information is accurate, but only your doctor can say if a medication, or drug combination, is safe for you. Information intended for US residents only.

    Minocycline Side Effects

    Minor: Diarrhea, dizziness, headache, light-headedness, loss of appetite, nail discoloration, nausea, stomach cramps and upset, or vomiting. These side effects should disappear as your body adjusts to the medication.
    Minocycline can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. You should therefore try to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and sunlamps. Wear protective clothing and sunglasses, and use an effective sunscreen.
    If minocycline makes you feel dizzy or light-headed, sit or lie down for a while; get up from a sitting or lying position slowly; and be careful on stairs.
    Major: Tell your doctor about any side effects that are persistent or particularly bothersome. IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO TELL YOUR DOCTOR about darkened tongue, difficulty in breathing, joint pain, mouth irritation, rash, rectal or vaginal itching, sore throat and fever, unusual bleeding or bruising, or yellowing of the eyes or skin. And if your symptoms of infection seem to be getting worse rather than improving, you should contact your doctor.


    Minocycline interacts with several other types of medications:

  • Minocycline can increase the absorption of digoxin, which may lead to digoxin toxicity.
  • The gastrointestinal side effects (nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset) of theophylline may be increased when it is used concurrently with minocycline.
  • The dosage of oral anticoagulants (blood thinners, such as warfarin) may need to be adjusted when you begin treatment with minocycline.
  • Minocycline may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (birth control pills), and pregnancy could result. You should therefore use a different or additional form of birth control while taking minocycline. Discuss this matter with your doctor.
  • Antacids, calcium supplements, iron, choline and magnesium salicylates, magnesium-containing laxatives, cholestyramine, and colestipol may decrease the effects of this drug if they are taken at the same time. Two to three hours should separate doses of any of these medications and minocycline.
  • BE SURE TO TELL YOUR DOCTOR about any medications you are currently taking, especially any of those listed above.

    Minocycline Precautions

  • Tell your doctor about unusual or allergic reactions you have had to any medications, especially to minocycline or to oxytetracycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.
  • Tell your doctor if you now have or ever had kidney or liver disease.
  • Minocycline can cause dizziness or light-headedness. Your ability to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving a car or operating potentially dangerous machinery, may be decreased. Take appropriate caution.
  • Minocycline can affect tests for syphilis; tell your doctor you are taking this medication if you are also being treated for this disease.
  • Make sure that your prescription for minocycline is marked with the expiration date. Minocycline should be discarded after the expiration date. If minocycline is used after this date, serious side effects (especially relating to the kidneys) could result.
  • Minocycline has been prescribed for your current infection only. Another infection later on, or one that someone else has, may require a different medicine. You should not give your medicine to other people or use it for other infections, unless your doctor specifically directs you to do so.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you are breast-feeding an infant. Minocycline crosses the placenta, and it passes into breast milk. In addition, minocycline should not be used for infants or for children less than eight years of age. This drug can cause permanent discoloration of the teeth and can inhibit tooth and bone growth if used during their development.
  • Minocycline For Acne

    Minocycline pills are antibiotics sold as Minocin, Dynacin, Vectrin and generic minocycline. This antibiotic has been in use since the 1970's and is a great acne therapy. It kills the acne bacteria more effectively than many other acne pills and has a separate "anti-inflammatory" effect. This means it reduces the redness, swelling and tenderness or pimples whether it kills the acne bacteria or not. Because of this effect, minocycline is now also being used for some people with painful, swollen joints.
    Of all the antibiotic pills used for acne, minocycline is one of the most effective, easiest to take and has the least side effects. Side effects do occur, but are usually minor. Minocycline rarely causes significant blood or internal problems. A topical acne cream is normally used along with these pills
    Start off taking it only at bedtime for a few days until ones body gets "used to" this medication. During this time dizziness or headaches may occur. These last a few hours and are gone by the morning. After that, the medication can be taken any time and is easiest to remember at meals. Only the generic form must be taken one hour before or two hours after meals. If the side effects continue, the drug can be taken at a lower dose or stopped. One in a hundred people have an allergy to the drug which shows up as outbreaks of hives two or three weeks into the treatment, or feeling sick or unwell.
    There are a few significant, but very rare side effects that develop in about 1 in 10:000 people. One is hypersensitivity lupus/hepatitis, which causes severe joint pains. The other is pseudotumor cerebri (an accumulation of fluid around the brain) that causes progressively worsening headaches and vision problems. Stop the medication if these occur. They resolve over time, but very slowly. These also occur with some other antibiotics. A form of lupus seems unique to minocycline. It appears after taking the pill for an average of 3 years. Remember that facial scarring and long lasting psychological harm are very real "side effects" of acne and are much more common than 1 in 10,000.
    If acne does not improve after several months of minocycline, a dermatologist will change the acne medicine to a different one. If the acne improves, the dose needs to be lowered or minocycline will build up in the body. As this accumulates, the medication turns dark purple in the body and might show up as a discoloration. This looks like bruises that don't go away, or dark pigment in acne scars. The pigmentation will clear up as long as it is recognized and the medication is stopped, but it may take a year or more. This is one of the reasons regular exams are needed for people on minocycline. More difficult pigmentation problems occur if the maximum dose is taken for a few years. Recent research has show that the pigment problems may be avoided by taking Vitamin C 500mg twice daily.
    Overall, minocycline is safer than ibuprofen or penicillin. Minocycline has been a standard treatment for severe acne for over 20 years and has been proven safe and effective with proper usage.