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What is Minocycline?
Minocycline is a type of antibiotic called a tetracycline. It is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. The active ingredient, minocycline, works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to produce proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, multiply and increase in numbers. Minocycline stops the spread of the infection and provides short-term relief from symptoms such as pain, fever and skin redness. Minocycline kills a wide variety of bacteria and can therefore be used for a wide variety of infections.
What is Minocycline used for?
Minocycline is used to treat the following infections:
- Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, sinus infection, laryngitis and middle ear infection;
- Infections of the skin such as severe acne (pustules), rosacea (redness on cheeks, forehead, nose and/or chin, possibly accompanied by bumps, spots and veins that are visible in the skin as red lines);
- Urinary infections;
- STDs such as gonorrhoea and syphilis.
How to use Minocycline
Minocycline tablets should be swallowed whole with plenty of liquid, preferably with food to avoid stomach distress. Strength, length of treatment and daily dose must be determined by a doctor. It is important that you follow the prescribed dosage exactly and finish the prescribed course. Stopping early could cause the remaining bacteria to multiply in the body and the infection to return. Minocycline is usually prescribed as a 7 to 14-day course. The typical treatment length for conditions such as rosacea is several months.
Unless otherwise advised by the doctor, the recommended dose is:
- Adults and children aged 12 and above: one 100-mg tablet twice daily.
Patients with skin conditions such as acne and rosacea and children between 9 to 12 years of age may require an adjusted dose. This medicine is not suitable for use in children under the age of nine. Read the package leaflet before use.
Medications can cause side effects, although some people may not experience any. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with Minocycline:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea;
- Fungal infections of mucous membranes (e.g. vagina, mouth, throat or anus).
Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are severe. For a complete list of possible side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Minocycline
Minocycline is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to other tetracycline antibiotics, the active ingredient minocycline or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You have a severe liver condition;
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding;
- You are under nine years of age.
Consult your doctor on the use of Minocycline if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are currently on medication. Minocycline interacts with other medicines. The doctor will have a list of medicines that you should avoid mixing it with.
Minocycline should not be used by women who are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding as it may have harmful effects on the developing baby's teeth or bones. Minocycline does not, in principle, affect your reaction time. In the unlikely event that you do feel dizzy or sleepy, you should avoid driving. Minocycline does not interact with alcohol.