Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antibiotic
Chemical Class: Tetracycline (class)
Uses For This Medicine
Minocycline is used to help treat periodontal disease (a disease of your gums). Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria growing beneath the gum line. Minocycline works by keeping the number of bacteria from growing. Lowering the amount of bacteria helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in your mouth, and the amount of bleeding around the teeth. Minocycline is placed in deep gum pockets next to your teeth in order to reduce the depth of the pockets.
Minocycline will be applied by your dentist or other oral health care professional.
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.
Use is not recommended in infants and children up to 8 years of age. Tetracyclines, such as minocycline, may cause permanent discoloration of teeth and slow down the growth of bones. The safety and effectiveness of minocycline have not been determined in children 8 years of age or older.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of minocycline in the elderly with use in other age groups.
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.
Proper Use of This Medicine
The amount of medicine that is put into your gum pockets will be determined by your dentist. The number of teeth that need treatment and the depth of the pockets will determine the amount of medicine that is used.
After the medicine is placed in your mouth, try to avoid any actions that may cause the medicine to come out. For example:
- Do not chew hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for 1 week after treatment.
- Do not brush near any treated areas. Wait 12 hours after the procedure before brushing the other teeth.
- Do not use dental floss or any other cleaning tools that go between the teeth for 10 days after treatment.
- Do not probe or pick at the treated areas with your tongue, toothpicks, or fingers.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Check with your dentist as soon as possible if you have pain or swelling or other problems in the treated areas.
It is very important that your dentist check your progress. Do not miss any dental appointments.
Tetracyclines, such as minocycline, may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than normal. 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. After receiving 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 sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) 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 health care professional.
- Apply a sun block lip balm or lipstick that has an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips.
- Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed or booth.
If you have a severe reaction from the sun, check with your dentist or doctor.
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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Bleeding from the gums
- dental pain
- pain, redness, and swelling in the mouth
- problems with teeth
- redness or swelling of the gums
- Bad taste in the mouth
- discharge from the gums
- foul breath odor
- painful sores in the mouth
- problems in the lining of the mouth
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:
- Acid or sour stomach
- increased sensitivity to sunlight
- pain in the joints or muscles
- runny nose
- sore throat
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
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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