Covers minocycline, an antibiotic used in treatment of mild rheumatoid arthritis. Lists brand names such as Dynacin and Minocin. Covers how well it works and side effects. Warns against use if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
Minocycline for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn
Minocycline is usually given by mouth (orally), but it is sometimes given as a shot (injection).
How It Works
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.
Why It Is Used
Minocycline is primarily used to treat
early cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It is used to treat joint pain and
How Well It Works
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.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:
Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Black or bloody stools.
Unusual bleeding or bruising.
Fever and chills.
Common side effects of this medicine include:
Nausea and vomiting.
Belly pain or cramps.
Vaginal itching or discharge.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
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.
Advice for women
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.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.