Minocycline is an oral antibiotic commonly prescribed to treat acne. It is part of a group of antibiotics called tetracyclines. Minocycline can be more expensive than other tetracyclines, but it can effectively treat acne even when other antibiotic treatments have failed.
Minocycline is especially effective in treating inflammatory acne. It is often prescribed alongside a topical acne medication for a one-two punch against acne.
How Does Minocycline Work?
This medication treats acne in two ways. First, it reduces inflammation. Second, it prevents the growth of bacteria that cause breakouts, stopping pimples in their tracks. However, retinoids are often a better choice to treat non-inflamed blemishes such as blackheads.
Like any prescription medication, you should use Minocycline as directed by a doctor. A 50 to 100 mg dose once or twice per day is a typical starting dosage. It is best to take Minocycline on an empty stomach, but it can also be taken with food because unlike other types of antibiotics, it is absorbed well by the body.
Your doctor will likely direct you to slowly taper off of the treatment once your acne can be kept in check by topical treatments on their own.
Store this medication at room temperature in a closed container, away from direct light, heat, and moisture.
Where Is Minocycline Available?
Minocycline is available under the prescription brand names Minocin, Dynacin, Vectrin, and Solodyn. It is a safe and widely available option at many pharmacies.
What Precautions Should I Take With Minocycline?
Do not use Minocycline if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and let your doctor know if you are.
Children 12 and under should not use Minocycline.
Minocycline can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight, so make sure to wear sunscreen every day and avoid sun exposure. Even brief exposure to the sun could cause discoloration of the skin, a rash, or severe sunburn.
What Are Some of the Side Effects of Minocycline?
Although side effects are rare, they are possible. Check with your doctor if you notice some of the more common side effects, including dizziness, diarrhea, or nausea and vomiting.
Minocycline use can also lead to a bluish discoloration in the mouth and gums. This generally happens only with long-term use, and is reversible.
How Long Does Minocycline Take to Work?
Like many oral antibiotics, Minocycline can take six to eight weeks to begin working. You may not see results right away, but it is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed by your doctor even if you don't see immediate results.
Can I Lie Down After Taking Minocycline?
Your doctor will recommend that you do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking Minocycline. For this reason, it is best not to take it right before you go to bed. Unless your doctor directs you otherwise, you may take it with food or milk if an upset stomach occurs.
Is There Other Important Information About Minocycline?
It is not recommended to take Minocycline with Acitretin. If you do take other medications, your doctor may also decide to change the other medications you take or to not treat you with Minocycline.
The presence of medical issues such as infection, diarrhea, increased pressure in the head, kidney disease, or liver disease can affect the use of Minocycline, so tell your doctor if you have any of these issues.
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