Can you drink alcohol with minocycline

What is minocycline used for?

Minocycline hydrochloride is a tetracycline-type antibiotic that can be used to treat certain bacterial infections, for example chest infections and some sexually-transmitted infections.

It’s also licensed for acne (spots), but other antibiotics are usually preferred in the UK.

How does minocycline work?

Minocycline works by stopping bacteria from growing and increasing in numbers. To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to minocycline your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example a swab from the infected area, or a urine, sputum or blood sample.

Minocycline works in acne because it’s active against the bacteria associated with acne, Propionebacterium acnes. This is a common type of bacteria that feeds on sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It produces waste products and fatty acids that irritate the sebaceous glands, making them inflamed and causing spots. By controlling bacterial numbers, minocycline brings the inflammation of the sebaceous glands under control and allows the skin to heal.

Key facts about minocycline

  • Minocycline is only available on prescription.
  • Minocycline is not suitable for children under 12 years, or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Your doctor might ask you to take minocycline once or twice a day. Always complete the course.
  • You can take minocycline either with or without food.
  • The most common side effects are dizziness, diarrhoea and feeling or being sick.
  • Don’t use sunbeds or sunlamps while you’re taking minocycline. It’s a good idea to protect your skin with clothing or a sun cream if you’re in strong sunlight.
  • It’s generally OK to drink alcohol in moderation while taking minocycline. See below.

Who shouldn’t take minocycline?

Minocycline is not suitable for:

  • Children under 12 years of age.
  • Women who are pregnant. Minocycline can be deposited in the baby’s growing bone, affecting the development of the skeleton, and in teeth, causing staining.
  • Women who are breastfeeding. Minocycline may pass into breast milk, which may cause staining of a nursing infant’s teeth (even if they have not yet erupted).
  • People with kidney failure.
  • People who are allergic to any ingredient of the capsules. Check the ingredients listed in the leaflet that comes with your medicine if you know you have specific allergies.
  • People who are allergic to other tetracycline-type antibiotics. Make sure your doctor knows if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.

Some people might need a lower minocycline dose or extra monitoring. Make sure your doctor knows if you have:

  • Kidney or liver problems, or if you’re taking medicines that can have side effects on the liver.
  • An inflammatory condition called systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Myasthenia gravis, a condition involving abnormal muscle weakness.

How do I take minocycline?

The minocycline dose prescribed, how often to take it and for how long depends on what you’re taking it for. Always follow the instructions given by your doctor.

Minocycline standard tablets and capsules (50mg and 100mg) are usually taken twice a day, every 12 hours.

Minocycline modified-release (MR) 100mg capsules are taken once a day, at the same time each day. Do not open or chew these capsules, as this would damage the modified-release action.

Minocycline can be taken either with or without food, on a full or empty stomach. Swallow the tablets or capsules whole with plenty of water and don’t lie down just after taking a dose to avoid irritating the throat.

Don’t take indigestion remedies or medicines containing aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc in the two hours before or after taking minocycline tablets or capsules. These can reduce the absorption of minocycline from the gut and make it less effective.

If you forget to take a minocycline dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as usual. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

Finish the prescribed course of minocycline even if you feel better or it seems the infection has cleared up. Stopping the course early increases the chance that the infection will return and that the bacteria will grow resistant to the antibiotic.

Can I drink alcohol while taking minocycline?

There is no ‘do not drink alcohol’ warning that applies to taking minocycline because it doesn’t specifically affect the medicine itself.

However, just be aware that if you feel unwell with an infection or find minocycline makes you feel dizzy, or gives you a headache or upset stomach, then this might be made worse by drinking alcohol. It’s also possible that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol with minocycline could increase the risk of getting side effects on your liver.

What are the side effects of minocycline?

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that may be associated with minocycline. Just because a side effect is stated here doesn’t mean that all people taking this antibiotic will experience that or any side effect.

Common side effects

  • Dizziness or spinning sensation (vertigo).
  • Feeling sick or vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.

Other possible side effects

  • Headache.
  • Overgrowth of the yeast Candida, which may cause infections such as thrush. Ask your pharmacist for advice if you think you’ve developed thrush, or any other new infection, while taking minocycline.
  • Skin reactions, such as a rash, itching or increased sensitivity of your skin to sunlight or UV light. Tell your doctor if you get a rash.
  • Slight blue/black/grey staining of the skin, teeth, nails, inside of mouth, eyes, tears, breast milk or sweat. This can occur at any time but is more common during long-term treatment. Any skin or mouth staining usually disappears a few months after stopping treatment, but staining in other parts of the body, although less common, may persist. A persistent muddy-brown skin stain has also been reported, particularly in sun-exposed areas of skin. Consult your doctor without delay if you notice any staining so your treatment can be reviewed.
  • Inflammation of the bowel (colitis). Tell your doctor if you get diarrhoea that is severe or persistent, or contains blood or mucus.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Tell your doctor if you get severe upper abdominal pain.
  • Raised pressure inside the skull. Tell your doctor if you get a severe persistent headache, or double or blurred vision.
  • Liver problems. Tell your doctor if you experience yellow skin or eyes (jaundice).
  • Problems with your blood cells. Tell your doctor if you experience unexplained bruising, sore throat, fever or infections.

If you take minocycline for long periods of time your doctor may want to see you regularly to monitor for any possible side effects of the medicine.

Read the leaflet that comes with the medicine or talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you want any more information about the possible side effects of minocycline. If you think you have experienced a side effect, did you know you can report this using the yellow card website?

Can I take other medicines with minocycline?

Before you take minocycline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’re already taking any medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines. Similarly, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while you’re taking minocycline.


If you need to take a painkiller while you’re taking minocycline it’s fine to take paracetamol or ibuprofen.


Minocycline doesn’t affect hormonal contraceptives such as the pill. However, if you experience vomiting or diarrhoea while taking this antibiotic, this can potentially make your pill less effective at preventing pregnancy. If this happens to you, follow the instructions for vomiting and diarrhoea described in the leaflet provided with your pills.


Minocycline may increase the anti-blood-clotting effects of coumarin anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin. If you’re taking warfarin your doctor may want to check your blood clotting time (INR) after you start and finish treatment with minocycline.

Medicines to avoid

Don’t take medicines containing any of the following ingredients in the two hours before or after taking your minocycline dose. They may reduce the absorption of minocycline from the gut and make it less effective:

  • aluminium salts
  • antacids for heartburn and indigestion containing aluminium, bismuth, calcium or magnesium
  • calcium supplements
  • iron preparations, eg ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate
  • kaolin
  • lanthanum
  • magnesium salts
  • quinapril tablets that contain magnesium carbonate, eg Accupro brand
  • ranitidine bismuth citrate
  • sucralfate
  • tripotassium dicitrato-bismuthate
  • zinc salts
  • Videx chewable/dispersible tablets (didanosine).

Retinoid medicines such as acitretin, alitretinoin, isotretinoin or tretinoin shouldn’t be taken with minocycline. The combination may increase the risk of developing raised pressure within the skull (benign intracranial hypertension).

Vivotif, the oral typhoid vaccine, should not be taken until at least three days after you have finished a course of minocycline. The antibiotic could make this vaccine less effective.

Last updated 24/07/2018


Generic Name: minocycline (mye no SYE kleen)
Brand Names: Solodyn

Medically reviewed by P. Thornton, DipPharm Last updated on Feb 14, 2019.

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What is Solodyn?

Solodyn (minocycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic supplied as an extended release tablet.

Solodyn is a prescription medicine used to treat pimples and red bumps (non-nodular inflammatory lesions) that happen with moderate to severe acne vulgaris in people 12 years and older.

Solodyn is not effective for acne that is not red-looking (this means acne that is not inflammatory).

Important Information

Do not use Solodyn if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause permanent tooth discoloration later in life.

Solodyn can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while using Solodyn.

Minocycline passes into breast milk and may affect bone and tooth development in a nursing baby. Do not take Solodyn without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Children should not take this medication. Minocycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children younger than 8 years old.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Solodyn can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking Solodyn. These products can make this medicine less effective.

Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label has passed. Using expired minocycline can cause damage to your kidneys.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Solodyn if you are allergic to minocycline or to similar antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.

To make sure Solodyn is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • asthma or sulfite allergy.

You should not use Solodyn if you are pregnant. Minocycline could harm the unborn baby or cause permanent tooth discoloration later in life. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine, whether you are a man or a woman.

Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is taking Solodyn. The use of this medicine by either parent may cause tooth discoloration later in the baby’s life.

Minocycline can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.

Minocycline passes into breast milk and may affect bone and tooth development in a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking Solodyn.

How should I take Solodyn?

Take Solodyn extended release tablets exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

You may take Solodyn with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests. You may also need to stop taking Solodyn for a short time if you need surgery.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Solodyn.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Throw away any Solodyn not used before the expiration date on the medicine label. Using expired minocycline can cause damage to your kidneys.

Solodyn dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Solodyn for Acne:

Extended-release formulations:
45 to 49 kg: 45 mg orally once a day
50 to 59 kg: 55 mg orally once a day
60 to 71 kg: 65 mg orally once a day
72 to 84 kg: 80 mg orally once a day
85 to 96 kg: 90 mg orally once a day
97 to 110 kg: 105 mg orally once a day
111 to 125 kg: 115 mg orally once a day
126 to 136 kg: 135 mg orally once a day
Duration of therapy: 12 weeks

-Recommended dose is about 1 mg/kg once a day.
-This drug did not show any effect on non-inflammatory acne lesions.
-Safety not established beyond 12 weeks.
Use: To treat only inflammatory lesions of non-nodular moderate to severe acne vulgaris.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acne:

12 years or older:
Extended-release formulations:
45 to 49 kg: 45 mg orally once a day
50 to 59 kg: 55 mg orally once a day
60 to 71 kg: 65 mg orally once a day
72 to 84 kg: 80 mg orally once a day
85 to 96 kg: 90 mg orally once a day
97 to 110 kg: 105 mg orally once a day
111 to 125 kg: 115 mg orally once a day
126 to 136 kg: 135 mg orally once a day
Duration of therapy: 12 weeks

-Recommended dose is about 1 mg/kg once a day.
-This drug did not show any effect on non-inflammatory acne lesions.
-Safety not established beyond 12 weeks.
Use: To treat only inflammatory lesions of non-nodular moderate to severe acne vulgaris.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking Solodyn?

For 2 hours before or after you take Solodyn: Avoid taking antacids, laxatives, multivitamins, or supplements that contain calcium, magnesium, or iron. These other medicines can make it harder for your body to absorb minocycline.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how minocycline will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Solodyn could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Solodyn side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Solodyn (hives, difficult breathing, fever, swollen glands, joint pain, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);

  • a seizure;

  • kidney problems – little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • low blood cell counts – fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath;

  • increased pressure inside the skull – severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or

  • signs of liver or pancreas problems – loss of appetite, upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common Solodyn side effects may include:

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain;

  • hair loss;

  • discoloration of you skin or nails.

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite;

  • swollen tongue, cough, trouble swallowing;

  • rash, itching; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Solodyn?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • isotretinoin;

  • a penicillin antibiotic – amoxicillin, ampicillin, dicloxacillin, oxacillin, penicillin, ticarcillin, Amoxil, Moxatag, Augmentin, Principen, and others;

  • a blood thinner – warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven; or

  • ergot medicine – dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with minocycline, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Solodyn only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Copyright 1996-2020 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 15.01.

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