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Minocycline

Generic Name: minocycline (mye no SYE kleen)
Brand Names: Dynacin, Minocin, Minocin PAC, Minolira, Solodyn, Ximino, Vectrin, Myrac

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on Jan 11, 2019.

What is minocycline?

See also: Orencia

Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Minocycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, severe acne, chlamydia, tick fever, and others. It is also used for gonorrhoea, syphilis, and other infections as a second-line drug in those with a penicillin allergy.

Minocycline may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Minocycline can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non hormonal method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while using this medicine.

Minocycline can cause fetal harm and pass into breast milk. Minocycline may affect bone and tooth development in a fetus or nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Children should not take this medication. Minocycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children younger than 8 years old.

Minocycline can cause a severe skin rash that can be fatal. Stop taking minocycline if you experience fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking this medicine. These products can make this medicine less effective.

Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label has passed. Using expired minocycline can cause damage to your kidneys.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to minocycline or to similar antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.

If you are using minocycline to treat gonorrhea, your doctor may test you to make sure you do not also have syphilis, another sexually transmitted disease.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause permanent tooth discoloration later in life. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine, whether you are a man or a woman.

Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is taking minocycline. The use of this medicine by either parent may cause tooth discoloration later in the baby's life.

Minocycline can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.

Minocycline passes into breast milk and may affect bone and tooth development in a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking this medicine.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Minocycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children younger than 8 years old.

How should I take minocycline?

Take minocycline exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

You may take minocycline with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release capsule or tablet. Swallow it whole.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. This medicine will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests. You may also need to stop taking minocycline for a short time if you need surgery.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using minocycline.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Throw away any minocycline not used before the expiration date on the medicine label.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking minocycline?

For 2 hours before or after you take minocycline: Avoid taking antacids, laxatives, multivitamins, or supplements that contain calcium, magnesium, or iron. These other medicines can make it harder for your body to absorb minocycline.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Minocycline could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Minocycline side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to minocycline (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes. This may be more likely with long-term use of minocycline, and the reaction may occur several weeks after you began using this medicine.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath (signs of kidney problems);

  • loss of appetite, upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes (signs of liver or pancreas problems);

  • joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color;

  • severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or

  • swollen glands, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing.

Common minocycline side effects may include:

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain;

  • hair loss;

  • discoloration of you skin or nails.

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite;

  • swollen tongue, cough, trouble swallowing;

  • rash, itching; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect minocycline?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with minocycline, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use minocycline only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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