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Minocycline is used for treating certain infections. It may also be used with other medicines to treat severe acne. Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. It works by slowing the growth of certain bacteria and allowing the body’s immune system to kill them.
Use Minocycline as directed by your doctor.
- Take Minocycline by mouth with or without food.
- Swallow Minocycline whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- Take Minocycline with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking Minocycline.
- Do not take antacids that contain aluminum, calcium, or magnesium; bismuth-containing products; iron; urinary alkalinizers (eg, sodium bicarbonate); or multivitamins with minerals or zinc salts (eg, zinc sulfate) within 2 to 3 hours before or 2 hours after you take Minocycline. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- To clear up your infection completely, take Minocycline for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
- Minocycline works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
- If you miss a dose of Minocycline, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Minocycline.
Store Minocycline at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed, light-resistant container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Minocycline out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do NOT use Minocycline if
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Minocycline or to another tetracycline (eg, doxycycline)
- you are taking acitretin, isotretinoin, methoxyflurane, or a penicillin
- you have recently received or will be receiving a live oral typhoid vaccine.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Minocycline. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have kidney, liver, or thyroid problems
- if you have an autoimmune disorder (eg, lupus)
- if you have diarrhea.
Some medicines may interact with Minocycline. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Aluminum salts (eg, aluminum carbonate) or cimetidine because they may decrease Minocycline’s effectiveness
- Acitretin , anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), digoxin, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), isotretinoin, methotrexate, methoxyflurane, or theophyllines because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Minocycline
- Live oral typhoid vaccine, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), or penicillins (eg, amoxicillin) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Minocycline.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Minocycline may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information
- Minocycline may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Minocycline with caution. Do not drive or perform other possible unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Minocycline only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
- Be sure to use Minocycline for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of Minocycline may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Minocycline may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Minocycline. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Minocycline. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Minocycline before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Minocycline may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Minocycline.
- Lab tests may be performed while you use Minocycline. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Minocycline with caution in the elderly; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Use Minocycline with extreme caution in children younger 10 years who have diarrhea or an infection of the stomach or bowel.
- Minocycline should not be used in children younger 8 years; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed. Using Minocycline in children younger than 8 years old or in women during the last half of pregnancy may cause a permanent change in the tooth coloring of the child.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Minocycline has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Minocycline while you are pregnant. Minocycline is found in breast milk. Do not breastfeed while taking Minocycline.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Dizziness; drowsiness; lightheadedness; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach upset; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; blurred vision; bulging soft spots in infants; chills, fever, or persistent sore throat; dark urine; increased pressure in the head; joint pain, swelling, or stiffness; muscle pain or weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe diarrhea; severe skin reaction to the sun; stomach pain/cramps; trouble swallowing; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual headache; unusual tiredness or weakness; vaginal irritation or discharge; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.