Why is this medication prescribed?
Minocycline is used to treat infections caused by bacteria including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; certain infections of the skin, eye, lymphatic, intestinal, genital, and urinary systems; and certain other infections that are spread by ticks, lice, mites, and infected animals. It is also used along with other medications to treat acne. Minocycline is also used to treat plague and tuleramia (serious infections that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack). It can also be used in patients who cannot be treated with penicillin to treat certain types of food poisoning, and anthrax (a serious infection that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack). It can also be used to eliminate bacteria from your nose and throat that may cause meningitis (swelling of tissues around the brain) in others, even though you may not have an infection. Minocycline extended-release tablet (Solodyn) is only used to treat acne. Minocycline is in a class of medications called tetracycline antibiotics. It works to treat infections by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria. It works to treat acne by killing the bacteria that infects pores and decreasing a certain natural oily substance that causes acne.
Antibiotics such as minocycline will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
How should this medicine be used?
Minocycline comes as a regular capsule, a pellet-filled capsule, and an extended-release tablet (Solodyn) to take by mouth. The capsule and pellet-filled capsule is usually taken twice a day (every 12 hours) or four times a day (every 6 hours). The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day to treat acne. Minocycline can be taken with or without food. Drink a full glass of water with each dose. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take minocycline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the pellet-filled capsules and extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Other uses for this medicine
Minocycline is also sometimes used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking minocycline,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline, demeclocycline, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in minocycline capsules, pellet-filled capsules, or extended-release tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); ergot-type medications such as bromocriptine (Cycloset, Parlodel), cabergoline, dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, Migergot), and methylergonovine (Methergine); and penicillin. Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking isotretinoin (Absorica, Amnesteem, Clavaris, others) or have recently stopped taking it. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Minocycline decreases the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives; talk to your doctor about selecting another form of birth control to use while taking this medication.
- be aware that antacids containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium, calcium supplements, zinc products, iron products, and laxatives containing magnesium interfere with minocycline, making it less effective. Take minocycline2 hours before or 6 hours after antacids , calcium supplements, and laxatives containing magnesium. Take minocycline 2 hours before or 4 hours after iron preparations and vitamin products that contain iron. Take minocycline 2 hours before or after zinc containing products.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, lupus (condition in which the immune system attacks many tissues and organs including the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys), intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri; high pressure in the skull that may cause headaches, blurry or double vision, vision loss, and other symptoms), or kidney or liver disease.
- you should know that minocycline may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections). Talk to your doctor about using another form of birth control.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking minocycline, call your doctor immediately. Minocycline can harm the fetus.
- you should know that minocycline may make you lightheaded or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Minocycline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
- you should know that when minocycline is used during pregnancy or in babies or children up to age 8, it can cause the teeth to become permanently stained. Minocycline should not be used in children under age 8 except for inhalational anthrax or if your doctor decides it is needed.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Minocycline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- itching of the rectum or vagina
- changes in color of skin, scars, nails, teeth or gums.
- changes in color of tears or urine
- ringing in your ears
- hair loss
- dry mouth
- swollen tongue
- sore or irritated throat
- inflammation of the end of the penis
- muscle pain
- mood changes
- numbness, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- blurred vision, seeing double, or loss of vision
- peeling or blistering skin
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- shortness of breath
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching, dark-colored urine, light colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, extreme tiredness, nausea, or vomiting, confusion
- bloody urine
- joint pain, stiffness or swelling
- swollen lymph nodes
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- decreased urination
- a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
- watery or bloody stools , stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- chest pain or irregular heartbeat
Minocycline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store minocycline pellet-filled capsules and extended-release tablets away from light.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to minocycline.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking minocycline.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the minocycline, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.