1 What is Minocycline?

Brand: Minocycline

Generic: Minocycline

Minocycline is an antibiotic drug used to treat periodontal disease, which is caused by bacterial growth beneath the gum line.

By keeping the bacteria from growing, minocycline helps reduce swelling and inflammation in the mouth and at the same time minimize bleeding around the teeth.

Subgingival minocycline is placed in gum pockets by your dentist or oral health care professional.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Minocycline, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. You and your doctor should make the decision. Weighing the benefits versus the risks is important.

For this medicine, the following must be considered by you and your doctor:


If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - foods, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.


The use of minocycline injection for children 8 years old and below is not advisable as it may slow down bone growth and cause permanent discoloration of the teeth.


While there is no appropriate study done to point out the relationship of old age to the effects of this drug, no geriatric-related problems are given to date. Nonetheless, utmost caution must be considered when giving this medicine to the elderly, since the age group is more likely to suffer from age-related kidney, liver, or heart diseases.


Appropriate studies done in pregnant women show that using this drug can harm the fetus. Nonetheless, the benefits of using this drug may outweigh the risks in case of a life-threatening situation.


Breastfeeding Using this medicine may alter milk composition or affect milk production. If no alternative medication is available, close monitoring of the breastfeeding infant must be done to see if milk intake is adequate and to check for side effects.

Drug Interactions:

Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary. Before using minocycline, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are taking other medications.

It is also important to inform your doctor if you are smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol since these may interact with the drug’s effectiveness. Inform your doctor about any drug you are using. 

Prescription or nonprescription, especially the following drugs:

  • Ampicillin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Atazanavir
  • Bacampicillin
  • Bexarotene
  • Cloxacillin
  • Digoxin
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Etretinate
  • Isotretinoin
  • Methicillin
  • Nafcillin
  • Oxacillin
  • Penicillin G
  • Penicillin G Procaine
  • Penicillin G Benzathine
  • Penicillin V
  • Pivampicillin
  • Piperacillin
  • Sultamicillin
  • Tretinoin
  • Temocillin

Other Interactions. Some medications should not be taken around the time of eating certain food types as interactions may possibly occur. Talk to your doctor about possible interactions of minocycline with food, as well as with alcohol and tobacco.

3 Proper Usage

To use Minocycline properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Dosage will be determined by your dentist by checking the number of teeth that require treatment, as well as how deep the gum pockets are. After application, your dentist may ask you to avoid any actions, which can displace the medicine.

Do not brush the treated area and only brush the other teeth 12 hours after the procedure. Chewing hard or sticky foods are discouraged for 1 week after treatment. Wait until 10 days before flossing or using other dental cleaning tools that penetrate in-between-teeth areas.

Avoid using your fingers, tongue or toothpicks to pick or probe the treated areas.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Minocycline, there are some precautions you must take. Call your dentist immediately if you feel pain or experience swelling in the treated areas. Make sure to go for follow-up checkups to allow your dentist see your progress.

Using this medicine may cause darkening of the skin, eyes, nails, gums, teeth, or scars and may also cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Sun exposure, even for a short period, may result in an itching or redness of the skin, skin rash, or skin discoloration.

If possible, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m and 3 pm. Wearing protective clothing, hat and sunglasses can help. Also, applying sunblock lotion and lipstick with high SPFs is also recommended.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Minocycline to avoid unwanted potential side effects. While not all side effects listed below may occur, you may need to call or see your dentist if one or more of them occur.

The probable side effects of subgingival minocycline are:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Dental pain
  • Chills
  • Problems with teeth
  • Fever
  • Pain, redness, and swelling in the mouth
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Toothache
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Discharge from the gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Headache
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Painful or upset stomach
  • Belching
  • Cough
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

Some patients may experience side effects not listed above. If you want to report side effects, you may do so by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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