What is it?

Once considered as an “alternative” treatment for inflammatory arthritis, the use of antibiotics as DMARDs is now generally accepted in the early stages of the disease.

FDA approved:

October 1972

Brand Names and International Availability:

Borymycin (Taiwan); Cyclimycin (South-Africa); Cynomycin (India); Dynacin (US); Klinomycin (Germany); Lederderm ; Mero (Taiwan); Mestacine (France); Mino-50 (Belgium); Minocin (US); Minocin MR (Hong-Kong); Minoclir 50 (Germany); Minocyclin 50 Stada (Germany); Minogalen (Germany); Minoline (Taiwan); Minomycin (Australia, New-Zealand, Japan, South-Africa); Minotab 50 (New-Zealand); Mino-Wolff (Germany); Mynocine (France)

How does it work?

An antibiotic mainly used to treat infections, minocycline has been found to be beneficial in some people with inflammatory arthritis. Exactly why it works is unknown, however some people believe some rheumatoid diseases are caused by a hypersensitivity reaction due to infection of mycoplasmas. If this is indeed the case, mincocycline works by eliminating the mycoplasmas. Others believe the benefit is merely anti-inflammatory.


Antibiotic protocol may vary between doctors. One common protocol is 100mg taken three times a week.

How should I take it?

This medication should be taken with a glass of water. If stomach upset occurs, take with food.


Caution should be used when giving this medication to people with known kidney problems.

Pregnant or nursing mothers should not take Minocycline.

Minocycline should not be used in children.

Drugs Interactions:

Certain antiacids and calcium supplements may decrease the effectiveness.

Minocycline may decrease the effect of oral contraceptives.

Minocycline may increase the action of digoxin.

Possible side effects:

These side effects are not considered serious but are certainly annoying for those experiencing them. The most frequently reported side effects include diarrhea, discolored tongue or teeth, drowsiness, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, sun sensitivity, and frequent yeast infections.

More serious side effects that you should report right away include dark yellow or brown urine, difficulty breathing, skin rash or itching, and unusual bleeding or bruising.

Signs of a possible allergic reaction are rash, swelling and difficulty breathing. These symptoms should be reported immediately.

Precautions & Special Notes:

You will be required to have frequent blood work while on this medication. It is very important that you keep all lab and doctor’s appointments.

Due to the potential for sun sensitivity exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. If you are in the sun please wear protective clothing and strong sun block.

For more information:

The Roadback Foundation (http://www.roadback.org/)
RxList Minocycline
Pharm Info Net Minocycline

Mosby’s GenRx?, 10th ed. Copyright ? 2000 Mosby, Inc.
Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs, H. Winter Griffith, M.D. , Copyright ? 1997
Roadback Foundation