Minocycline is a type of antibiotic that is used to fight various bacterial infections. It is also commonly used to treat acne. It’s a type of antibiotic known as a tetracycline antibiotic. It works on acne and infections by stopping bacteria from growing so that the infection ends. It doesn’t work for viral or fungal infections, so it won’t treat an illness like the flu or a cold. It’s only used when bacteria are suspected to be behind the infection. Like all antibiotics, it should not be used when it isn’t needed so that it doesn’t work to strengthen bacteria and make it antibiotic-resistant.

This antibiotic is often used to treat moderate to severe red bumps, pimples, and acne vulgaris. It’s generally used for these problems in patients aged 12 and older. Minocycline can also be used when a patient has an anthrax infection. It’s also used for other infections in people who cannot take penicillin medications. This medication is prescription only.

Precautions and Warnings of Minocycline 

The patient needs to be supervised while using this medication in case of unwanted results. Urine and blood tests may be required to ensure no adverse effects. If the medication has been used for 12 weeks and the condition is the same or even worse, talk to your doctor about using this medication. You may need to be put on a different one.

Using this medication while pregnant can cause harm to the baby. It can cause congenital disabilities when a pregnant mother uses it, and it can also cause them when a father is using it when the conception takes place. If either parent took this medication during any part of a pregnancy, tell the doctor right away.

If you take birth control pills (such as Yaz) while you take minocycline, they might not work very well. You may need to use another type of birth control while you’re on these antibiotics. Using a diaphragm, contraceptive jelly or foam, or condoms can be the safest options. This medication can also make your teeth, scars, nails, gums, and skin darker. If you have concerns about this, discuss them with your doctor.

This antibiotic can also cause diarrhea, which can be severe for some patients. You may get diarrhea for two months or longer after taking minocycline. Don’t treat this diarrhea with any medicine before you talk to your doctor about it. These could cause the condition to last longer and get worse.

Please inform the doctor immediately if you experience tenderness or pain in the upper part of your stomach, yellow skin, or eyes. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, dark urine, paler stools, and a lack of appetite. These are all symptoms of a severe liver problem caused by the medication.

This medication can also cause dizziness. If you aren’t sure how this medication will affect you, don’t drive until you won’t be lightheaded or dizzy. You should never drive or operate any heavy machinery if you are.

Minocycline is also known to cause higher pressure in the head of some patients, which can cause permanent vision loss. If you get a severe headache from this medication or have vision changes such as blurry vision, tell your doctor immediately. You should also tell the doctor if you get fatigue, joint pain, a rash, or fever from taking it. This could mean that the body has started attacking itself because of an autoimmune syndrome.

This antibiotic is also known to cause many patients to be more sensitive to the sun than usual. If exposed to sunlight, it could cause itching, a rash, or redness, even if you weren’t exposed to it for long. You may also get a severe sunburn or have other skin discoloration from the sun. It’s best to avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and about 3 p.m. whenever possible. Use sunscreen and protective clothing to protect your skin. It’s best also to use sunblock lipstick for protection. Don’t use sun lamps or tanning beds while taking this medication.

It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to this medication, including an anaphylactic reaction. If this happens, you will need medical help right away. This condition can cause patients to have difficulty breathing, faint, breathe irregularly, have swelling around the eyes, or have changes in the face color.

Before taking minocycline, make sure your doctor knows everything else you’re taking. Don’t start taking anything new, even if it’s over the counter, without talking to your doctor while you’re on this medication. Tell the doctor about your prescription, OTC medications, and any supplements or vitamins you take. If you are getting medical tests, make sure the doctor who is in charge of them that you’re taking minocycline.

Minocycline Side Effects

There are several common side effects that this mediation can cause and several less common impacts that can be severe. Some of the common side effects include:

  • Hair loss
  • Dizziness
  • Joint pain or muscle pain
  • Skin or nail discoloration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Headache

 

Some of the less common side effects that can happen with this medication include:

  • Having problems with moving or muscle stiffness
  • Welts or hives
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Hearing loss
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Severe sunburn
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion

 

If you have swelling in your face, mouth, or extremities, develop a rash, your heartbeat is too fast, or you get confused, you may be seriously reacting to the medication. Tell the doctor immediately if you have any severe side effects. You may need to stop taking the drug if you have these reactions.

You may have mild side effects that go away after your body gets used to the medication. These generally don’t have to be reported to your doctor.

Minocycline Drug Interactions

Because this is an antibiotic, several other medications may not be compatible with this one. Minocycline shouldn’t be used with penicillin antibiotics such as dicloxacillin, amoxicillin, oxacillin, ampicillin, penicillin, Augmentin, Amoxil, ticarcillin, Principen, and Moxatag. It’s also best not to take a blood thinner (such as Xarelto) with this medication. These include Coumadin, warfarin, and Jantoven. Minocycline can also react poorly with an ergot medication such as methylergonovine, ergotamine, dihydroergotamine (such as Migranal), and ergonovine.

Other medications may have adverse reactions to minocycline. Ensure your doctor knows everything you are taking, including OTC medications and supplements.

Minocycline Strengths and Dosages

Minocycline comes in six forms: extended-release capsule, extended-release tablet, capsule, tablet, IV liquid, and topical foam. Any of these can be taken with or without food, and you should drink a full glass of water when you take the oral types.

The oral capsules come in strengths of 50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg. The oral tablets come in 50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg. The extended-release capsules come in 45 mg, 90 mg, and 135 mg. The extended-release tablets come in 45 mg, 55 mg, 65 mg, 80 mg, 90 mg, 105 mg, 115 mg, and 135 mg. The topical foam comes in an aerosol foam with a 1.5% concentration and a 4% foam. The IV solution has 100 mg in each vial.

Oral capsules: 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg extended
d-release oral capsules: 45 mg, 90 mg, 135 mg extended
d-release oral tablets: 45 mg, 55 mg, 65 mg, 80 mg, 90 mg, 105 mg, 115 mg, 135 mg all
l tablets: 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg topical
l foam: 1% and 4% aerosol foam
IV fluid: 100 mg per vial

Minocycline FAQ

Can you take minocycline for a cold or the flu?

No, those are viral infections. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. If you have a supply of minocycline, it won’t affect your cold or other viral infections.

Does minocycline treat acne?

This medication is commonly used for acne treatment. It is often beneficial for those who have moderate to severe acne.

Can minocycline lead to a sunburn?

Yes, it makes many patients more sensitive to the sun. This can mean getting a sunburn far faster than without this medication.

What kind of antibiotic is minocycline? Is it a penicillin?

No, it’s not a type of penicillin antibiotic. It’s categorized as a tetracycline antibiotic.

Do you have to take it with food?

It can be taken with food or without. It generally doesn’t cause an upset stomach.

Can I stop taking it if I feel better?

No, you have to take the entire course of the antibiotic. If you’re on it long-term, you need to talk to your doctor before you stop taking it. Stopping it early can lead to the development of an infection that’s resistant to antibiotics.

Is it an expensive medication?

Your specific price will depend on several factors, but generally, this is a reasonably priced medication. Coupons can also reduce the cost even more. Because this medication has been around for a long time and has so many generics available, the price isn’t high.

Can there be allergic reactions to this medication?

Yes, some patients do have an allergic reaction to it, which can include anaphylaxis. If you’re allergic to it, call your doctor immediately and get emergency medical care if you need it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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