Using the Antibiotic Minocycline to Treat Acne
Depending on your skin type and the severity of your acne, your doctor may decide that antibiotics are the best acne treatment option for you. There are several types of antibiotics used to combat acne, but one of the most common and longest used is Minocycline.
The main types of antibiotics used to combat acne are tetracycline and its derivatives doxycycline and minocycline. Although these three antibiotics are similar chemically and in their effects, they each have unique properties. The advantage minocycline has over other acne fighting antibiotics is the body is very slow to build a resistance to minocycline, but the body quickly becomes desensitized to other antibiotics. Because the body develops a resistance to other antibiotics, it is necessary to increase dosage. However, minocycline allows a patient to use a continuous dosage for the entire treatment period.
Minocycline reduces acne by affecting the bacteria that causes acne inflammation. The presence of minocylcine in the body prevents the bacteria from producing a certain protein that it needs to live and multiply. Because the bacteria cannot survive, acne will normally clear up. Minocycline is very strong and is used to treat several other bacterial infections, including gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
However, Minocycline does have some side effects which should be carefully considered before taking Minocycline. Like many acne medications, women who are pregnant should not use Minocycline, and women who are breast feeding should not use Minocycline either, as it can be passed to their child. The most common birth defect associated with Minocycline is skeletal irregularities. Also, Minocycline should not be given to children younger than eight because of the high likelihood that they will have permanently yellow or grayed teeth, and it can affect growth and development. Women should not use Minocycline if they are using birth control pills, because antibiotics, like Minocycline, typically reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Minocycline also increases sensitivity to sunlight and UV rays from tanning beds. Cases of Minocycline affecting thinking and reaction are well documented and can make operating a car dangerous. Expired Minocycline must not be taken as it can cause kidney damage. Studies have shown that Minocycline can lead to respritory failure and heart problems, as well as a number of other conditions, and two people have died as a direct result of Minocycline.
Although the body does not build a tolerance to Minocycline like it does to other antibiotics, experts are questioning if this advantage warrants Minocycline use. Experts point out that tetracycline and doxycile have the same benefits as Minocycline, but they lack the serious side effects and can be used in smaller doses.
Before using any acne treatment, even if prescribed by your dermatologist, you should do some research and find out if there are any side effects or drawbacks to the treatments prescribed. Most people’s acne can be treated with gentler methods, which is much better for your body and face. Before using an acne treatment with potentially serious and permanent side effects, you should consider how much you dislike your acne, and what you are willing to risk to get rid of your acne. Although acne can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, the potential side effects from Minocycline and other acne treatments may be worse than the acne itself. Before using any risky acne treatments, you should try several more gentle treatments in hopes of avoiding unwanted side effects. If your dermatologist does suggest Minocycline or another treatment you are uncomfortable with, you may want to have a discussion about why he choose that treatment and the risk of side effects. After all, you are the one who will have to live with the consequence if there is a bad reaction to Minocycline or any other acne treatments.