Acne Medications: Minocycline and Doxycycline

Did you know dermatologists prescribe more oral antibiotics than any other specialty? According to Penn Medicine News, there are over 7 million antibiotic prescriptions from dermatologists alone every year!

It makes me wonder, can most things be treated with a pill or is it just overuse in the field? When I went to the dermatologist recently for acne, I was prescribed an oral medication: Minocycline. My dermatologist said the pill will help with hormonal imbalances I have that is causing my acne and prevent the bacteria that causes acne from growing.

Now, I do my skincare research a lot but I had never heard of Minocycline before. I asked my dermatologist a lot of questions, who gladly answered. But I thought I should still do some research before I decide to take an oral medication for my acne.

Here’s the research I’ll share today:

My acne… on a good day šŸ˜¦

Minocycline vs Doxycycline

Let’s shorten this up a bit. In this post Minocycline=”Mino” and Doxycycline=”Doxy”

Mino and Doxy are both antibiotics from a group called tetracyclines and are commonly prescribed to help treat deep-rooter acne, or “under the skin” acne. Some other common reasons they are prescribed are for bacterial infections like pneumonia, skin/eye/lymphatic infections, and more. They also are good replacements for Penicillin.

Mino kills the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, or the bacteria that causes acne. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, so blemishes won’t be as red, swollen, or tender whether or not the bacteria has been killed or not. The anti-inflammatory properties of Mino has also been used for other issues like arthritis to decrease joint pain.

Mino has been used to treat acne since the 1970s, and research has shown that as great as the medication is for treating acne, it can have serious side effects. Because of this, the oral pill is only prescribed for up to 12 weeks (with regular check-ups) and is also given with a topical treatment so that overtime Mino will be discontinued and fully replaced with the topical treatment.

Doxy is pretty similar to Mino, expect that it is only really used to extreme and more severe cases of acne and/or rosacea. It also doesn’t necessarily kill bacteria, but inhibits them from reproducing and growing by binding to ribosome units and stopping protein synthesis in bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used as replacement for penicillin.

It is important to note that neither Mino or Doxy should be used for viral infections such as the flu or cold at home. These medications are anti-bacterial and will not help with viral illnesses. Overuse of these medications can quicken/worsen their side-effects and cause bacteria to build immunity to these medications.

My AP Bio teacher would laugh at this lol

Side Effects

  • bone loss/pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • changes in color of skin, scars, nails, teeth or gums.
  • changes in color of tears or urine
  • ringing in your ears
  • hair loss
  • dry mouth
  • swollen tongue
  • sore or irritated throat
  • inflammation of the end of the penis
  • muscle pain
  • mood changes
  • numbness, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin
  • and many more

Yeah, there’s a TON of side effects and I didn’t even list them all. I think you guys get the point though. I know I do.

Something else I found online that’s… interesting… is that Mino that you’ve taken overtime accumulates in your body and turns into a dark purple color. This shows up as discoloration on your skin like bruises that won’t go away or darker acne scars. It can also affect your teeth and gums.

My Updates On Minocycline

4/14/2021- I went back to the dermatologist because I was having bad side effects on Minocycline. He prescribed me Doxycycline instead. I’m nervous to take this one though because my dad used to take it– he got heart irregularities afterward. My friend also took this before and got severe dehydration and sun sensitivity….

On a final note, I think I’m going to try Minocycline anyway. I’m going to get a second opinion from another dermatologist first though before I do. Not that I don’t trust my first dermatologist, she’s great! But I think we need to normalize doing our own research and getting multiple opinions about our treatments and medications, especially when you have concerns about them (ex side effects, cost, etc). Don’t be afraid to ask more and learn more!

Take care lovelies! ā¤

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“Doxycycline Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD. WebMD. Web. 9 Apr. 2022.

“Doxycycline: Generic, Infections, Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, Interactions & Warnings.” RxList. RxList, 15 Mar. 2022. Web. 9 Apr. 2022.

“Doxycycline: Medlineplus Drug Information.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 9 Apr. 2022.

“Minocycline – American Osteopathic College of … – AOCD.” Web. 9 Apr. 2022.

“Minocycline Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD. WebMD. Web. 9 Apr. 2022.

“Minocycline: Medlineplus Drug Information.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 9 Apr. 2022.

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