Minocycline is a kind of antibiotic that comes under the group of tetracycline antibiotic for treating acne. Not only does it have bacteriostatic quality, the effect of minocycline lasts long. The medicine’s long living action is because of its serum level which is two to four times of any ordinary tetracycline compound that is water soluble. Being the most soluble lipid of the tetracycline group, minocycline can reach up to brain or down till prostate. Since it makes an effect on the central nervous system of the body, sometime side effects like diarrhoea or vertigo may occur. Among the less common systems, one might face skin discolouration and immunity disorders if he or she has been taking minocycline for a long period of time.
What is Minocycline for Acne?
One of the most frequently used medicines for treating acne is minocycline. It is a slightly a stronger antibiotic than doxycycline (medicine of the same tetracycline group) and the side effects are a bit more adverse than the same. The acne develops on the skin when the P. acne bacteria attack the skin. The sebum released from the oil glands help to moisturise the facial hair growth through the pores on the surface layer of the skin. When the sebum is more than it can be released, it clogs down the pores. At the same time the dead cells that would shed from the skin pores also clog with the sebum and the hair follicles. Together the plug is formed which decreases the level of oxygen within the layers of the skin making it the perfect place for the Propionibacterium acne to thrive and reproduce. Minocycline is the antibiotic with the anti-inflammatory quality to bring down the inflammation and the redness caused due to acne. At the same time, it fights the bacteria by rupturing the outer walls of the bacterium. Since the life of the bacterium is only 48 hours, during this time most of the energy goes to protect the outer walls from rupturing and therefore reproduction fails. This finally prevents the growth of the bacteria and helps you remove acne.
Minocycline is also used for treating other skin disease and since it can affect the CNS, it is used in therapy too. The common side effects of minocycline are:
- Upset stomach
- Sores in the mouth
- Sensitivity to sunlight
The rarer side effects include fever and yellowing of the eyes and skin. Even though minocycline is very effective for treating acne, these disorders are severe and can be avoided if doxycycline is used instead as the side effects of doxycycline is lesser and milder. Minocycline may fail to remove the scarring of the skin caused due to acne and instead as a side effect for long term usage skin discolouration and discolouration of fingernails and scarring of the tissue may occur. Such effects of minocycline can be long term or permanent. Minocycline like any other tetracycline should be taken only when prescribed by the dermatologist. You should be careful about the expiry date of the medicine since beyond the expiration date; it can cause permanent damage to the kidneys.
Why is Minocycline Not Used Often Now to Treat Acne?
Minocycline has strong antibacterial quality and works faster than any other medicine of the tetracycline or the oxytetracycline group. Therefore it was commercialised to be used by patients in 1971. Reports show that most patients were cured of acne while they were on this medication. Belonging to the tetracycline group which is strong for fighting the P. acne bacteria minocycline was hugely prescribed until the side effects became an issue for the safety of the patients. Presently minocycline is not often prescribed to treat acne especially in Europe and America since the Propionibacterium acne has become immune to the drug.