Skip to main content

Minocycline topical

Generic name: minocycline topical [ MYE-no-SYE-kleen-TOP-i-kal ]
Brand names: Amzeeq, Zilxi
Dosage form: topical foam (1.5%; 4%)
Drug class: Mouth and throat products

Medically reviewed by on Feb 5, 2024. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is minocycline topical?

Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic.

Minocycline topical (for the skin) is used to treat severe acne in adults and children at least 9 years old.

Minocycline topical is also used to treat rosacea in adults.

minocycline topical is not for use in treating a skin infection.

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

Minocycline topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with 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, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Serious side effects are unlikely when minocycline topical is applied to the skin, but can occur if the medicine is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Minocycline topical may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Minocycline can affect growth in children, especially if used long term.

Common side effects of minocycline topical may include:

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.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use minocycline topical if you are allergic to minocycline or to similar antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Although it is not known whether minocycline applied to the skin is harmful to an unborn baby, taking minocycline by mouth during the second or third trimester of pregnancy may cause bone growth problems in the unborn baby, or permanent tooth discoloration later in life.

You should not breastfeed while using minocycline topical.

How should I use minocycline topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Shake the foam canister well just before each use.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Minocycline topical is usually applied once per day, at least 1 hour before bedtime. Apply only a small amount of topical foam to affected skin areas.

Try to use the medicine at the same time each day.

Do not bathe or shower or swim for at least 1 hour after you have applied minocycline topical.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not keep this medicine in a refrigerator.

Minocycline topical foam is refrigerated at the pharmacy before you receive it. You may be instructed to continue storing the canister in a refrigerator at home, until you first start using the medicine. When you begin using a canister for the first time, allow it to reach room temperature before you apply the medicine. Once you start using a canister, keep storing it at room temperature for up to 90 days and then throw it away, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Minocycline topical foam is flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Do not smoke until the medicine has completely dried on your skin.

Minocycline topical dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Periodontitis:

Adult periodontitis:
1 mg applied subgingivally by an oral health care professional into the base of the affected periodontal pocket. The quantity of 1 mg unit dose packets required for treatment varies with the depth, severity, and number of lesions. During clinical trials, up to 121 unit dose containers of minocycline topical were applied to a single patient during a single treatment session. Additionally, patients were treated in up to 3 sessions occurring at 3 month intervals.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of minocycline topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using minocycline topical?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how minocycline topical 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 before using anti-diarrhea medicine.

Minocycline topical 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.

Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, mouth, or vagina.

What other drugs will affect minocycline topical?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect minocycline topical, 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 this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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