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Is Minocycline Functioning As An Antibiotic When Used To Treat Arthritis?


Updated August 01, 2008

Question: Is Minocycline Functioning As An Antibiotic When Used To Treat Arthritis?
Some people have had good results while taking minocycline for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Is minocycline functioning as an antibiotic when used to treat arthritis?

Antibiotic Treatment For Arthritis

Because of the early work of Thomas McPherson Brown tetracycline was recommended for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

There was question as to just why the drug seemed to help his patients, as his original studies and results were suspect. Never the less, tetracycline has been shown to demonstrate:

  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • antiviral properties
  • immunosuppressive properties
  • Antibiotic Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Minocycline For Arthritis

    Because of the many theories suggesting infection as a potential cause for rheumatoid arthritis, minocycline (Minocin), a close relative to tetracycline, has surfaced as adjunct therapy in rheumatoid arthritis.

    Although minocycline has shown some efficacy in trials compared to placebo, it is not thought to prevent disease progression. Its use is comparable to the drug Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine sulfate), and should be considered only in mild disease.

    According to the American College of Rheumatology, "Minocycline is an antibiotic, which means it helps to neutralize or kill bacteria that cause infections. When used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, however, minocycline may work through a different mechanism to stop inflammation."

    Related Resources - Minocycline

  • Minocycline / Minocin
  • More About DMARDs
  • Arthritis Medications
  • Arthritis Drugs: What Are My Options?
  • Related Resources - Antibiotic Treatment For Arthritis

  • Using Antibiotics To Treat Arthritis
  • Antibiotic Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Doxycycline May Slow Progression Of Osteoarthritis
  • Review: The New Arthritis Breakthrough
    The New Arthritis Breakthrough focuses on antibiotic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and related diseases.
  • Sources: Interview Dr. Raymond Federman; Fact Sheet: Minocycline, American College of Rheumatology, April 2004

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