Minocycline side effects, adverse reactions
Feb 19 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Minocycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.

Minocycline is used to treat bacterial infections including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; acne; and infections of skin, genital, and urinary systems. It can also be used to eliminate bacteria from your nose and throat that may cause meningitis (swelling of tissues around the brain) in others, even though you may not have an infection.

Minocycline side effect, danger
Skin discoloration appears to be a common side effect of an antibiotic given to some people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The drug, called minocycline, is more commonly used to treat acne and certain other skin conditions. But some people with RA take minocycline to help control inflammation in their joints; those with a history of the blood infection sepsis are particularly likely to receive minocycline because some other RA drugs can be dangerous for them. Clinical trials indicate that it carries fewer side effects than other drugs used to treat RA. However, the rates of side effects in the real world have been less clear. Patches of dark discoloration on the skin, known as hyperpigmentation, are one potential side effect of minocycline, which is seen in up to 7 percent of acne patients.

Nihon Naika Gakkai Zasshi. 2013 Aug 10. Case report; a case of minocycline-induced polyarteritis nodosa with fever, arthralgia, and erythema on bilateral lower extremities.

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2015. Minocycline as A Substitute for Doxycycline in Targeted Scenarios: A Systematic Review. Doxycycline, a commonly prescribed tetracycline, remains on intermittent shortage. We systematically reviewed the literature to assess minocycline as an alternative to doxycycline in select conditions, given doxycycline's continued shortage. We identified 19 studies, 10 of which were published before 2000. Thirteen of the studies were prospective, but only 1 of these studies was randomized. Based on the available data, we found minocycline to be a reasonable substitute for doxycycline in the following scenarios: skin and soft-tissue infections and outpatient treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in young, otherwise healthy patients or in patients with macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae, as well as Lyme disease prophylaxis and select rickettsial disease should doxycycline be unavailable.