Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Minocycline for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Minocycline is usually given by mouth (orally), but it is sometimes given as a shot (injection).
Minocycline is a tetracycline
antibiotic. It fights bacteria in your body. It is not
clear how minocycline works to reduce the activity of
rheumatoid arthritis. It may work by reducing
the action of certain proteins that erode cartilage.
Minocycline is primarily used to treat
early cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It is used to treat joint pain and
In some studies, minocycline has
shown some benefit in reducing symptoms, perhaps by slowing the progression of
joint destruction caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It can help reduce joint
pain and swelling and shorten the time of morning stiffness.footnote 1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
Diarrhea and vaginal yeast infections may occur when oral
antibiotics destroy some of the normal and necessary bacteria that live in the
body. Eating yogurt that contains active cultures (lactobacillus) may help
prevent some of these side effects.
Taking certain antibiotics can make you more sensitive to sun. Avoid the sun and tanning beds. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when you are outside.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Genovese MC (2009). Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In GS Firestein et al., eds., Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 8th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1119–1143. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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