Skip to main content

Arestin (mucous membrane powder)

Generic name: minocycline (mucous membrane powder)mye-no-SYE-kleen ]
Drug class: Mouth and throat products

Medically reviewed by on May 23, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Arestin?

Arestin is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Arestin is used together with certain dental procedures to treat periodontitis (gum disease). Periodontitis is an infection that causes inflammation in the gums around your teeth. This can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets. Gum shrinkage can lead to tooth loss.

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


You should not be treated with Arestin if you are allergic to Arestin or to similar antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to Arestin or to similar antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.

To make sure Arestin is safe for you, tell your dentist if you have:

  • diabetes;

  • weak immune system (caused by HIV or other disease);

  • sores or white patches in your mouth or throat (thrush or oral yeast infection); or

  • a condition for which you use treatments that can cause mouth sores (chemotherapy or radiation, steroids, antibiotics, or immunosuppressants).

You should not be treated with this medicine if you are pregnant. Using Arestin during pregnancy could cause permanent tooth discoloration in the baby later in life. Tell your dentist right away if you become pregnant after being treated with this medicine.

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

How is Arestin given?

You will receive Arestin in a dentist's office.

Arestin powder is applied directly into the pockets between your gums and teeth. Your dentist will use a special device to place the medicine into these pockets.

For at least 1 week after treatment: You should not chew hard or crunchy foods such as carrots, or sticky foods such as hard candy, taffy, or gum.

For at least 10 days after treatment: You should not use dental floss or a dental pick.

Arestin powder is only part of a complete treatment program that also includes good oral hygiene and routine dental care.

You may need to receive up to 3 treatments spaced 3 months apart. Follow your dentist's instructions very closely.

Replace your toothbrush with a new one every 3 or 4 months.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your dentist for instructions if you miss an appointment for a repeat treatment.

What happens if I overdose?

Since Arestin is given by a dentist in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving Arestin?

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

Avoid smoking, or consider quitting altogether. Smoking can increase your risk of further gum disease and tooth decay.

Arestin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching, severe rash; swollen glands, unusual tiredness, fever, nausea, stomach pain; lower back pain, painful urination, blood or pus in your urine; chest pain, cough with mucus, difficult breathing; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some of these signs of allergic reaction have occurred when Arestin was taken by mouth in a pill form. It is not known whether Arestin this medicine powder would cause these same effects when used in dentistry.

Call your dentist at once if you have:

  • tooth pain;

  • pain or swelling in your gums;

  • fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain or swelling, muscle aches, general ill feeling; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects of Arestin may include:

  • increased tooth sensitivity;

  • pain;

  • headache;

  • infection; or

  • flu-like symptoms.

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 Arestin?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on Arestin applied to your gums and teeth. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your dentist can provide more information about Arestin mucous membrane powder.

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

More about Arestin (minocycline topical)

Patient resources

Other brands

Amzeeq, Zilxi, Cleeravue-M

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Further information

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