Minocycline is an antibiotic and treats infection and can treat acne. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and/or tanning beds, and wear protective clothing.
Minocycline is a prescription antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and acne. Minocycline belongs to a group of drugs tetracycline antibiotics. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria.
This medication comes as a capsule, tablet, or dental powder. It is usually taken one to four times a day. Refer to your healthcare provider's instructions for the specific minocycline product you are taking as some products are best when taken without food, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, tiredness, and dizziness.
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Minocycline Drug Class
Minocycline is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Minocycline
Minocycline may cause serious side effects. See "Drug Precautions" section.
The most common side effects of minocycline include:
- dizziness or spinning feeling
Call your doctor if you have a side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Your doctor may do tests to check you for side effects during treatment with minocycline.
These are not all the side effects with minocycline. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor about all the other medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Minocycline may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how minocycline works.
Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- birth control pills. Minocycline may make your birth control pills less effective. You could become pregnant. You should use a second form of birth control while taking minocycline.
- a blood thinner medicine.
- a penicillin antibiotic medicine. Minocycline and penicillins should not be used together.
- antacids that contain aluminum, calcium, or magnesium or iron-containing products.
- an acne medicine that contains isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret). Minocycline and isotretinoin should not be used together.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist.
Serious side effects can occur including:
- Harm to an unborn baby. If you are pregnant talk to your doctor about the risks associated with taking minocycline during pregnancy.
- Permanent teeth discoloration. Minocycline may permanently turn a baby or child's teeth yellow-grey-brown during tooth development. Minocycline should not be used during tooth development. Tooth development happens in the last half of pregnancy, and from birth to 8 years of age.
- Intestine infection (pseudomembranous colitis). Pseudomembranous colitis can happen with most antibiotics, including minocycline. Call your doctor right away if you get watery diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away, or bloody stools.
- Serious liver problems. Stop taking minocycline and call your doctor right away if you get any of the following symptoms of liver problems:
- loss of appetite
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
- unexplained bleeding
- Central nervous system effects. Central nervous system effects such as light headedness, dizziness, and a spinning feeling (vertigo) may go away during your treatment with minocycline or if treatment is stopped.
- Benign intracranial hypertension, also called pseudotumor cerebri. This is a condition where there is high pressure in the fluid around the brain. This swelling may lead to vision changes and permanent vision loss. Stop taking minocycline and tell your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, vision loss, or unusual headaches.
- Immune system reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, hepatitis, and inflammation of blood or lymph vessels (vasculitis). Using minocycline for a long time to treat acne may cause immune system reactions. Tell your doctor right away if you get a fever, rash, joint pain, or body weakness. Your doctor may do tests to check your blood for immune system reactions.
- Serious rash and allergic reactions. Minocycline may cause a serious rash and allergic reactions that may affect parts of your body such as your liver, lungs, kidneys and heart. Sometimes these can lead to death. Stop taking minocycline and get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, or your skin blisters and peels
- swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
- trouble swallowing or breathing
Do not take minocycline if you are allergic to tetracycline-class drugs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these medicines if you are not sure.
- Avoid sunlight, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Minocycline can make your skin sensitive to the sun and the light from sunlamps and tanning beds. You could get severe sunburn.
- Protect your skin while out in sunlight.
- You should not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this medication affects you. Minocycline may cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded, or have a spinning feeling (vertigo).
Minocycline Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of minocycline there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before you take minocycline, tell your doctor if you:
- have kidney problems. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of medicine for you.
- have liver problems.
- have diarrhea or watery stools.
- have vision problems.
- plan to have surgery with general anesthesia.
- have frequent yeast infections.
- have any other medical conditions.
- are a male, and you and your female partner are trying to conceive a baby.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Tell your doctor about all the other medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
Minocycline and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Minocycline may harm your unborn baby. Taking minocycline while you are pregnant may cause serious side effects on the growth of bone and teeth of your baby. Talk to your doctor before taking minocycline if you plan to become pregnant, or if you are already taking minocycline and plan to become pregnant. Stop taking minocycline and call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking minocycline.
Minocycline may make your birth control pills less effective. You could become pregnant. You should use a second form of birth control while taking minocycline.
If you are a male, and you and your female partner are trying to conceive a baby. You should not take minocycline.
Minocycline and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Minocycline passes into your milk and may harm your baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will take minocycline or breastfeed. You should not do both.
- Take minocycline exactly as your doctor tells you.
- Minocycline comes as a capsule, tablet, or dental powder to treat gum disease.
- Some minocycline products work best when taken on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after a meal. However, some products can be taken with food if stomach upset occurs. Taking these minocycline products with food may lower your chances of getting irritation or ulcers in the esophagus.
- Take this medication with plenty of fluids to avoid damage to the esophagus.
- Skipping doses or not taking all doses of minocycline may:
- make the treatment not work as well.
- increase the chance that the bacteria will become resistant to minocycline.
If you take too much minocycline, call your doctor or poison control center right away.
- Store minocycline at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
- Keep minocycline and all medicines out of the reach of children.