Minocycline for sore throat


Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Jan 11, 2019.

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What is minocycline?

Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Minocycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, severe acne, chlamydia, tick fever, and others. It is also used for gonorrhoea, syphilis, and other infections as a second-line drug in those with a penicillin allergy.

Minocycline may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

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

Minocycline can cause fetal harm and pass into breast milk. Minocycline may affect bone and tooth development in a fetus or nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or 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.

Minocycline can cause a severe skin rash that can be fatal. Stop taking minocycline if you experience fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking this medicine. 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 this medicine if you are allergic to minocycline or to similar antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, or tetracycline.

If you are using minocycline to treat gonorrhea, your doctor may test you to make sure you do not also have syphilis, another sexually transmitted disease.

To make sure this medicine 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 this medicine if you are pregnant. It 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 minocycline. 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 this medicine.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Minocycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children younger than 8 years old.

How should I take minocycline?

Take minocycline exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

You may take minocycline with or without food.

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

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. This medicine will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

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

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using minocycline.

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

Throw away any minocycline not used before the expiration date on the medicine label.

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 minocycline?

For 2 hours before or after you take minocycline: 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 this medicine 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.

Minocycline 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.

Minocycline side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to minocycline (hives, difficult breathing, 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, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes. This may be more likely with long-term use of minocycline, and the reaction may occur several weeks after you began using this medicine.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath (signs of kidney 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, yellowing of the skin or eyes (signs of liver or pancreas problems);

  • joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color;

  • severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or

  • swollen glands, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing.

Common minocycline 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 minocycline?

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 minocycline only for the indication prescribed.

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

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Before taking minocycline,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline, demeclocycline, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in minocycline capsules, pellet-filled capsules, or extended-release tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); ergot-type medications such as bromocriptine (Cycloset, Parlodel), cabergoline, dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, Migergot), and methylergonovine (Methergine); and penicillin. Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking isotretinoin (Absorica, Amnesteem, Clavaris, others) or have recently stopped taking it. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Minocycline decreases the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives; talk to your doctor about selecting another form of birth control to use while taking this medication.
  • be aware that antacids containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium, calcium supplements, zinc products, iron products, and laxatives containing magnesium interfere with minocycline, making it less effective. Take minocycline2 hours before or 6 hours after antacids , calcium supplements, and laxatives containing magnesium. Take minocycline 2 hours before or 4 hours after iron preparations and vitamin products that contain iron. Take minocycline 2 hours before or after zinc containing products.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, lupus (condition in which the immune system attacks many tissues and organs including the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys), intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri; high pressure in the skull that may cause headaches, blurry or double vision, vision loss, and other symptoms), or kidney or liver disease.
  • you should know that minocycline may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections). Talk to your doctor about using another form of birth control.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking minocycline, call your doctor immediately. Minocycline can harm the fetus.
  • you should know that minocycline may make you lightheaded or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Minocycline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • you should know that when minocycline is used during pregnancy or in babies or children up to age 8, it can cause the teeth to become permanently stained. Minocycline should not be used in children under age 8 except for inhalational anthrax or if your doctor decides it is needed.

I’m always surprised by how quickly people with a sore throat — even a severe one — jump to the conclusion that they have strep throat.

That means they also jump to the conclusion that their doctor must give them antibiotics as a treatment.

Antibiotics are, of course, very effective for treating strep throat. Not only do antibiotics quickly relieve the pain and other symptoms of the infection (usually within 24 hours), they also greatly reduce the chances of complications, most notably rheumatic fever and inflammation of the kidney. The drugs also shorten the time that people with the infection are contagious.

Yet very few sore throats — only 5 to 15 percent of those in adults and 20 to 30 percent of those in children — are caused by streptococcus bacteria. Most cases of pharyngitis (as sore throats are called in medical lingo) can be traced to viruses, not bacteria.

And antibiotics have absolutely no effect on viruses. Our overuse of antibiotics is, however, contributing to an extremely serious (and growing) health problem: antibiotic-resistant infections. It’s estimated that such infections kill nearly 100,000 patients in U.S. hospitals each year. They’ve begun to affect healthy people as well.

The guidelines

Earlier this week, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), released its revised guidelines for treating strep throat. The guidelines recommend against testing for strep throat when a patient’s symptoms strongly suggest a viral infection — in other words, when the sore throat is accompanied by a cough, a runny nose, hoarseness and diarrhea.

Testing in those cases is not necessary, say the guidelines, because those cold- and flu-like symptoms tend to be absent with strep throat. The distinctive features of strep throat is pain that comes on suddenly (as opposed to the gradual throat pain that characterizes a cold or flu) and a high fever. Other symptoms include headache, stomachache and vomiting (especially in children).

In addition to suggesting a more judicious testing process for strep throat, the IDSA guidelines offer these treatment recommendations:

  • Antibiotics should not be prescribed until a patient’s strep infection is confirmed with a throat swab culture test. Diagnosing strep throat from symptoms alone, the authors of the IDSA guidelines stress, is “usually impossible.” Yet all too often, doctors hand out antibiotics to patients without giving them the test — or waiting for its results. According to the IDSA, some 70 percent of patients who seek medical care for a sore throat are given antibiotics by their physicians. Yet, only 20 percent of those patients actually have strep throat.
  • Patients with strep throat should be treated with penicillin or amoxicillin (which must be taken for 10 days) and not with tetracycline, which has a strong link to anti-resistant infections. The IDSA also does not recommend cephalosporin and other short-term antibiotics for strep throat, citing their higher cost and a lack of good research about their effectiveness. (This recommendation is obviously not for people who are allergic to penicillin or amoxicillin.)
  • To help relieve the pain and fever associated with strep throat, adult patients can take aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers, however, because of its link to Reye’s syndrome. The IDSA also recommends against using corticosteroids for treating strep throat. The potential harmful effects of these drugs — which can include stomach irritation, a rapid heartbeat, nausea and insomnia — outweigh any benefits, they said.
  • Children who experience repeated strep throat infections should not have their tonsils removed if the sole purpose of the surgery is to reduce the number of infections.

The IDSA guidelines also clear up a common misperception about pets (especially dogs) and strep throat. “There is no credible evidence,” write the guidelines’ authors, “that family pets are reservoirs for or that they contribute” to the spread of the infection among family members.

The new guidelines were published in the IDSA’s official journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and can be read in full online.

Can I take doxycycline hyclate for strep throat?

Doxycycline is a broad spectrum tetracycline antibiotic effective against some streptococcus species. Whilst not first line treatment, it can be used to treat strep throat and to prevent rheumatic fever. It should be used for no less than 10 days.

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils caused by a Streptococcal bacteria. Typical symptoms are sore throat, chills, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Strep throat can be treated with antibiotics and should be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, strep throat can cause serious heart and kidney complications.

Penicillin or amoxicillin are drugs of choice and should be taken for 10 days even if symptoms disappear after a few days to ensure that the infection does not return, and to minimise the risk of developing heart or kidney diseases.

Erythromycin is suitable for those that are allergic to penicillin.

For more information visit: https://www.drugs.com/condition/strep-throat.html https://www.drugs.com/cg/strep-throat.html

What Conditions does Tetracycline HCL Treat?

  • infection due to a Brucella bacteria
  • infection due to rickettsiae microorganisms
  • yaws
  • infection caused by rickettsiae bacteria
  • relapsing fever
  • granuloma inguinale
  • a bacterial infection of the middle ear
  • sexually transmitted infection of the testes
  • an infection of the female reproductive organs called pelvic inflammatory disease
  • bacterial urinary tract infection
  • infection due to the microorganism Coxiella burnetii
  • inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses
  • syphilis
  • infection of the rectum caused by Chlamydia trachomatis
  • an infection of the skin and the tissue below the skin
  • lymphogranuloma venereum
  • genital & urinary organs infected by Chlamydia trachomatis
  • throat irritation
  • pneumonia
  • female urethral syndrome
  • anthrax
  • trachoma
  • a chronic and contagious form of conjunctivitis
  • acne
  • infection due to the microorganism Chlamydia psittaci
  • an infection by Actinomyces bacteria called actinomycosis
  • infected conjunctiva by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • inflammation of the gums and mouth
  • falciparum malaria resistant to the drug chloroquine
  • tropical sprue
  • plague
  • pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma
  • bacterial infection due to deer fly
  • flea & tick bites
  • dilation of the blood vessels of the eye
  • inflammation of the stomach lining caused by H. pylori
  • infection within the abdomen
  • infection due to Chlamydiae species bacteria
  • peptic ulcer due to bacteria Helicobacter pylori
  • malaria
  • infection of the biliary tract
  • a skin condition on the cheeks and nose with a reddish rash and acne called acne rosacea

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