Minocycline Acne Even though most forms of Minocycline Acne can be treated very effectively with a holistic approach and medication in the form of creams or gels, in some cases, antibiotics in tablet form must be supplemented. Minocycline Acne Dermatologists often use minocycline for this. When the active ingredient is used, we tell you what effects it has against acne and what you should pay particular attention to during treatment with minocycline.
What is Minocycline Acne?
Minocycline is an antibiotic from the group of tetracyclines used, among other things, as a penicillin alternative in the treatment of syphilis and rheumatism, but also in the treatment of moderate and severe forms of acne. However, unlike clindamycin or erythromycin, it is not processed in creams, gels or solutions, but taken in tablet form. As an alternative to minocycline, the active ingredient doxycycline has proven itself in acne treatment.
What is the effect of minocycline on acne?
Minocycline has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. More precisely, bacteriostatic means that the active ingredient inhibits the growth of bacteria or bacterial pathogens explicitly. Minocycline docks onto the ribosomes of the bacteria. These are the cell organs through which amino acids are converted into proteins. By breaking the amino acid chains, the active ingredient cannot complete the proteins. However, since the proteins are essential for the reproduction of the bacteria, they can no longer multiply. The body’s immune system can fight the pathogens independently and effectively.
In the case of acne, the triggering acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes – P. acnes) can no longer appropriately multiply, which means less or less severe inflammation and consequently also inflammatory symptoms such as nodules (papules) and pus vesicles (bumps or pimples) go back.
How is acne treated with minocycline tablets?
Most forms of acne can be treated very well externally (topically) with creams or gels that contain active ingredients such as antibiotics (e.g., clindamycin), retinoids, or benzoyl peroxide (BPO). This type of therapy is particularly effective if you pursue the most holistic approach possible and adapt essential aspects of your diet, lifestyle, and skincare.
Minocycline tablets are, therefore, usually only used as a supplement for more severe forms of acne if the external therapy does not show good effect.
While doses of 200 milligrams of minocycline per day are typical for other treatments, your acne dermatologist will usually prescribe you 50 milligrams twice a day. You take the tablets in the morning and the evening on an empty stomach as possible – if you do not well tolerate the pills, you can also take them with a meal. The effect can be a little less. Important: When taking it, you should always drink plenty of water. Milk is not suitable as the antibiotic reacts with the calcium salts, making it less effective. In general, you should, therefore, only eat calcium-containing foods such as dairy products or fruit juices 2 to 3 hours later.
You will often see the first positive results after 2 to 4 weeks – you should not take minocycline tablets for more than six weeks at a time. One reason for this is that, over time, the likelihood increases that so-called resistance to the antibiotic will develop. This means: Your body gets used to the active ingredient too much, and the positive effects are significantly reduced. To slow this process down, dermatologists also prescribe a cream or gel with BPO or another essential therapeutic agent. Unfortunately, the development of resistance cannot be stopped completely.
What side effects can minocycline cause?
While antibiotics in cream or gel form are usually relatively well tolerated and show only a few side effects, there are unfortunately more intolerances or unpleasant side effects with minocycline in tablet form. In addition to the gastrointestinal problems typical of antibiotics, the experience reports of many patients show that these side effects, in particular, can be observed more frequently:
- Tiredness, dizziness, or nausea
- Allergic skin reactions (e.g., itching, redness)
- Uncomfortable burning sensation on the tongue
In addition, factors such as tetracycline or minocycline allergy or liver dysfunction must be excluded in advance. Since minocycline in Germany is only available on prescription in the pharmacy anyway, your dermatologist will go through these critical steps with you.
What is Minocycline Hyperpigmentation?
As soon as a total dose of 100 grams is exceeded during minocycline treatments, some patients develop so-called minocycline hyperpigmentation in the form of small discolored spots on the skin – often near the inflamed areas of the skin.
Due to the comparatively low dosage during acne treatment, discoloration only occurs very rarely. However, if this is the case with you, there is no need to panic: Even if it can take a few months, the hyperpigmentation fades by itself after you stop using the minocycline.
What should I look out for during minocycline treatment?
There are some drugs and active ingredients that you must not take simultaneously, as they can interfere with the absorption or effect of minocycline in the body. These include:
- Calcium, iron, and magnesium supplements
- Multivitamin supplements
- Anti-epileptic drugs
You can retake some of these active ingredients a few hours after taking the minocycline. It is best to get advice from your dermatologist in advance.
In addition, you should make sure that you stay away from the sun and UV rays as much as possible during the treatment, as minocycline increases the skin’s sensitivity to light. We, therefore, advise you to apply sun protection with a high sun protection factor (at best SPF 50) even on cloudy days and to cover your skin well.
Can I take minocycline tablets during pregnancy?
Dermatologists should not prescribe minocycline during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It may increase the risk of liver damage in pregnant women and delay bone growth and permanent tooth discoloration in children.