Minocycline (Minocin)

Minocycline (Minocin)

Minocycline (Minocin) treats bacterial infections. The active ingredient in this medication is minocyline hydrochloride and it comes in tablet form.  It is an anti-inflammatory antibiotic, which is the most common type of medication used to treat bacterial infections. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Patient Leaflet(s)

Minocycline (Minocin) is an antibiotic medication that is used to treat different bacterial infections. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means it is used for the treatment of a range of different infections and it treats several kinds of bacteria. This medicine must be prescribed by a doctor. It should not be given to children under 12 years of age.  

What is Minocycline (Minocin)? 

Minocycline (Minocin) treats bacterial infections. The active ingredient in this medication is minocyline hydrochloride and it comes in tablet form. 

It is an anti-inflammatory antibiotic, which is the most common type of medication used to treat bacterial infections.  It has been in use for over 30 years to treat this kind of infection. 

Antibiotics work by stopping bacteria growing and spreading. They do this by fighting the proteins the bacteria need to live and develop. They also relieve the symptoms of the infection, such as pain, a high temperature and redness of the skin. 

Minocycline (Minocin) belongs to the group of medicines known as tetracycline antibiotics.  

Minocycline (Minocin) comes in 50mg or 100mg tablets and the dosage depends on the infection it is treating. 

When is Minocycline (Minocin) used?  

Minocycline (Minocin) is an antibiotic medication that is prescribed to treat certain bacterial infections. These include: 

  • Respiratory tract infections; 
  • Acne (a common skin condition); 
  • Rosacea (redness of the face); 
  • Urinary tract infections; 
  • Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis; 
  • Prostate gland infections; 
  • Eye infections; 
  • Infections from ticks, mites, lice and other infected animals; 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease; 
  • Ear, nose and throat infections. 

A bacterial infection grows and reproduces in the body. You are unlikely to be aware you have it until the symptoms show. There are good and bad bacteria that surround us in our daily lives. From what we eat to the surfaces we touch to the cells in our bodies. There are bacteria everywhere and if you have a strong immune system your body is likely to fight any bad bacteria you come into contact with. 

However, if your immune system is unable to counteract bad bacteria you may succumb to a bacterial infection, which can make you feel unwell. A bacterial infection can be mild and clear up in a few days, or it can be severe, and even, in some cases, life-threatening. 

Minocycline (Minocin) fights bacteria and stops them growing and multiplying. It is not suitable for every bacterial infection, so it is important your doctor diagnoses your infection before prescribing this medication.  

If you are allergic to penicillin Minocycline (Minocin) is an alternative antibiotic. 

Antibiotics should not be taken if they are not necessary as the bacteria becomes resistant to them and over time they will not be effective.  

Antibiotics do not treat viral infections such as the common cold, flu, a cough or sore throat. 

Minocycline (Minocin) can also be used to treat mild rheumatoid arthritis. This is a chronic condition that causes painful, swollen and swift joints anywhere in the body. It is not caused by a bacterial infection. It can occur when the immune system attacks the linings of the joints. This means it is attacking the body instead of protecting it.  

Minocycline is used to ease this condition as it can: 

  • Reduce inflammation;  
  • Improve swelling of the joints; 
  • Relieve tenderness and soreness. 

When used for this purpose it is referred to as a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). When treating rheumatoid arthritis Minocycline (Minocin) can help slow down the joint damage that is caused by this disease. It works on the immune system to decrease the development of the disease.  

Minocycline (Minocin) should not be given to children under 12 years of age. Neither should it be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as it could affect the development of the child’s bones and teeth. 

How do you use Minocycline (Minocin)? 

You should take this medication as prescribed by your doctor.  

It is advisable to take Minocycline (Minocin) with food, to avoid an upset stomach. The tablets should be swallowed with a large glass of water or plenty of liquid.  

You should be upright when taking this medicine and not lie down immediately afterwards to avoid throat irritation.  

You should not take Minocycline (Minocin) within 2 or 3 hours of taking the following as these products prevent its full absorption by your body: 

  • Antacids (for indigestion and heartburn);  
  • Didanosine (used to treat AIDS/HIV);  
  • Products that contain calcium, magnesium, zinc aluminum or iron. 

This also applies to dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, as they can also stop the body from absorbing the Minocycline (Minocin). 

Your doctor should review the situation if you are taking Minocycline (Minocin) for a long period of time as it is possible your body will become resistant to it. It will then no longer work effectively. 

It is important to complete the full course of Minocycline (Minocin) you are given even if you feel better. If you stop taking the medication too early the infection may not have cleared up completely and may reoccur. 

What dosages are there? 

The usual dosages of Minocycline (Minocin) are: 

  • Adults - 200mg a day, taken as two individual doses of 100mg; 
  • Children over 12 years of age – 100mg a day, taken as two individual doses of 50mg. 

These are the usual dosages. Your doctor may prescribe a different dosage depending on the condition you have and its severity. 

A course of Minocycline (Minocin) usually lasts for 7-14 days. However, if it is being taken for conditions such as acne or rosacea, for example, the course of treatment could last several months. 

This medication should not be given to children under 12 years of age as it can prevent the development of teeth and permanently discolour them.  

The tablets should be taken at regular intervals to gain the maximum benefit from them. It is a good idea to set an alarm if you think you may forget to take your medication. 

If you do forget to take a dose of Minocyline you should take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, do not take a double dose as this could be dangerous. If you are close to taking your next tablet when you remember you should just take the normal dose. 

If you are still feeling unwell when you have completed the course of Minocycline (Minocin) you should make an appointment to see your doctor.  

Never use old antibiotics to treat a new infection or give your tablets to anyone else. Likewise, do not take antibiotics that someone else gives to you. 

What are the side effects of Minocycline (Minocin)? 

As with all medication, Minocycline (Minocin) can cause various side effects. These can include: 

  • Feeling sick; 
  • Being sick; 
  • Diarrhoea; 
  • Feeling dizzy (vertigo); 
  • Headache; 
  • Colour changes in skin, nails, teeth, gums, or scars; 
  • Hair loss; 
  • Changes in the colour of urine or tears;  
  • Dry mouth; 
  • Ringing in the ears; 
  • Sore or irritated throat; 
  • Swollen tongue; 
  • Rectal or vaginal itching or a fungal infection (thrush); 
  • Muscle pain; 
  • Mood swings; 
  • Numbness or a feeling of pins and needles on the skin. 

If you experience any of the above side effects when taking Minocycline (Minocin) and you are concerned about them you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist. 

If you feel dizzy after taking this medicine you should avoid driving or using machinery. 

When shouldn’t you use Minocycline (Minocin)? 

You should not use Minocycline (Minocin) if you: 

  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients on the leaflet; 
  • Are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding; 
  • Suffer from a liver condition; 
  • Are under 12 years of age. 

Does Minocycline (Minocin) interact with other medications? 

Minocycline (Minocin) can interact with other medications so it is important to tell your doctor if you are taking anything else, including herbal medicines or any medicines purchased without a prescription. 

This medication should not affect how the contraceptive pill works. However, if you are sick or have diarrhoea when taking Minocycline (Minocin) you should you other precautions (such as a condom) for the remainder of the month’s course of your contraceptive pill. 

If you are taking anti-blood-clotting medication (anticoagulants) such as Warfarin it is important to tell your doctor if they prescribe you Minocycline (Minocin). This is because Minocycline (Minocin) may increase the effect of this kind of medication.   

Minocycline (Minocin) can reduce the effectiveness of the oral vaccine for typhoid, Vivotif. Therefore this should not be taken until at least three days after completing the course of Minocycline (Minocin). 

This medication contains lactose, so if you are lactose-intolerant you should inform your doctor before taking Minocycline (Minocin). 

It is not advisable to drink alcohol if you are taking Minocycline. 

Where can you buy Minocycline (Minocin)? 

You can only buy Minocycline (Minocin) at a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor. It cannot be bought over-the-counter. 

Can I get Minocycline (Minocin) without a prescription?  

No, you cannot get Minocycline (Minocin) without a prescription. 

Sources 

Actavis. (2016). Minocycline 50mg and 100mg tablets. Retrieved from https://downloads.dokteronline.com/leaflets/en/patient_information_leaflet-5077-minocycline-uk.pdf-1510756511.pdf?_ga=2.81399639.1767197739.1589117994-1651272197.1573482610 

Drugs & Medications. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7722-8073/minocycline-oral/minocycline-oral/details 

Felman, A. (2019, January 18). What to know about antibiotics. Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10278 

Garrido-Mesa, N., Zarzuelo, A., & Gálvez, J. (2013). Minocycline: far beyond an antibiotic. British Journal of Pharmacology, 169(2), 337–352. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.12139 

Microcyline. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682101.html 

Minocycline: far beyond an antibiotic. (2013, May 1). Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3651660/ 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.