Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Antibiotic
Chemical Class: Tetracycline (class)
Uses For This Medicine
Minocycline injection is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It is also used to treat severe acne and intestinal amebiasis. It is also used to treat infections in patients who should not receive penicillin antibiotics.
Minocycline belongs to the class of medicines known as tetracycline antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. However, minocycline will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.
Minocycline is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For minocycline, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to minocycline or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Minocycline injection may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth and slow down the growth of bones. Minocycline should not be given to children younger than 8 years of age, unless directed by the child's doctor.
Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of minocycline injection have not been performed in the geriatric population, geriatric-specific problems are not expected to limit the usefulness of minocycline injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving minocycline injection.
Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving minocycline, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using minocycline with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using minocycline with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Penicillin G
- Penicillin G Benzathine
- Penicillin G Procaine
- Penicillin V
Using minocycline with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aminolevulinic Acid
- Vitamin A
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of minocycline. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Diarrhea or
- Increased pressure in the head or
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper Use of This Medicine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child minocycline in a hospital. Minocycline is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Your doctor will check your or your child's progress closely while you are receiving minocycline. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you or your child should continue to receive it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using minocycline while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. The medicine may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using minocycline, tell your doctor right away.
Birth control pills may not work as well while you are using minocycline. To keep from getting pregnant, use an additional form of birth control with your pills. Other forms include condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.
Minocycline may darken the color of your skin, nails, eyes, teeth, gums, or scars. Talk with your doctor if you or your child have any concerns.
Contact your doctor immediately if fever, rash, joint pain, or tiredness occurs. These could be symptoms of an autoimmune syndrome where the body attacks itself.
Minocycline may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight, even for brief periods of time, may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or a severe sunburn. When you begin using minocycline:
- Stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., if possible.
- Wear protective clothing, including a hat. Also, wear sunglasses.
- Apply a sunblock product that has a sun protection factor (SPF) number of at least 15. Some patients may require a product with a higher SPF number, especially if they have a fair complexion. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
- Apply a sunblock lipstick that has an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips.
- Do not use a sun lamp or tanning bed or booth.
If you have a severe reaction from the sun, check with your doctor.
Minocycline may cause some people to become dizzy or lightheaded. Make sure you know how you react to this combination of medicines before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how minocycline affects you.
Minocycline may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. It may occur 2 months or more after you stop receiving minocycline. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you or your child have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
Minocycline may cause an increased pressure in your head which can lead to permanent vision loss. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have severe headache, blurred vision, or any vision changes.
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you or your child are using minocycline. The results of some tests may be affected by minocycline.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
- blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blurred or double vision
- cracks in the skin
- dark urine
- diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
- difficulty with swallowing
- eye pain
- fast heartbeat
- general tiredness and weakness
- greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
- hives, itching, or rash
- increased thirst
- joint or muscle pain
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- light-colored stools
- loss of heat from the body
- nausea or vomiting
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, irritated eyes
- red, swollen skin
- scaly skin
- severe headache
- severe stomach pain
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- tightness in the chest
- trouble breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight loss
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- yellow eyes and skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- Acid or sour stomach
- continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
- difficulty with moving
- difficulty with swallowing
- discoloration of the nail, tooth, or gum
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- hearing loss
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain or stiffness
- pain or redness at the injection site
- redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
- stomach discomfort or upset
- thick, white, or curd-like vaginal discharge
- weight loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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