In our last blog post, we discussed the use of doxycycline to treat acne. In today’s post, let’s discuss minocycline for acne treatment. Minocycline is also a common antibiotic used for treating acne breakouts. It’s a member of the same group of antibiotics as doxycycline so it has some of the same effects. Similar to doxycycline, minocycline is also very good at getting into the acne-prone pores. In fact, minocycline is even a little better at penetrating into the pores. Minocycline can have good results in helping calm down acne breakouts. Minocycline is only used for acne with pimples because it doesn’t work well for acne that just presents as whiteheads and blackheads.
Just like doxycycline, minocycline doesn’t usually work right away. It often needs some time, up to two months or so, to show its best results. Minocycline comes in different forms, including generic pills and some brands that are timed-release pills. The type of minocycline that your doctor prescribes often depends on your insurance coverage, as some brands of minocycline can be very expensive.
Some Possible Side Effects Of Minocycline
Some of the possible side effects of minocycline include those that are similar to doxycycline, which we discussed in the previous post, such as sensitivity to the sun, effects on tooth and bone development and possible effects on the effectiveness of birth control pills.
Also, all members of the tetracycline family of antibiotics, including minocycline, can rarely cause a condition called pseudotumor cerebri which causes increased pressure in the brain with vision impairment, and requires emergency treatment. Unlike doxycycline, minocycline has the potential for certain other serious side effects as well. Although rare, these possible side effects should be discussed with your doctor before beginning treatment.
For example, minocycline can (rarely) cause a hypersensitivity syndrome including fever, swollen lymph nodes and liver inflammation. Another rare side effect of taking minocycline is the development of gray skin discoloration which may be permanent. Finally, minocycline can cause a lupus-like syndrome which can mimic the medical condition called systemic lupus erthematosis. These reactions cannot be predicted and can require emergency treatment.
The good news is that these serious side effects are very uncommon and most patients are treated for acne with minocycline, without any problems.
As with other antibiotics for acne, minocycline is usually prescribed for relatively short courses of therapy. Acne dermatologists try to limit the duration of antibiotic treatment to the shortest amount of time as possible.
This limits potential side effects and reduces the length of exposure to an antibiotic. The goal of minocycline is to gain control over acne breakouts and then withdraw the minocycline and replace it with less aggressive treatments, such as topical medications. Of course, it’s not always possible to achieve good control of breakouts with a short course of minocycline. In these cases, it becomes necessary to consider alternative treatments that may have a better chance of working.
Minocycline is not expected to cure acne. As with other antibiotics, minocycline is only a temporary treatment with the intent to transition into another long term regimen as quickly as possible. Overall, however, minocycline can be a good choice for acne treatment, for many patients with lots of active pimples.