How Effective Is Minocycline for Arthritis?

Cynde Gregory
Cynde Gregory
Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.
Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.

Many sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis have found relief from joint swelling and pain by taking the drug minocycline. Minocycline for arthritis is most effective in cases that can be classified as less advanced. Most doctors prescribe the drug to help patients manage pain rather than as a disease preventative. A few believe its effectiveness is due to an ability to control cartilage erosion caused by proteins in the body; this is currently theoretical and remains to be proved.

Minocycline for arthritis has a number of side effects as well as a few more serious risks. Patients taking the medication twice a day at a dose of 100 mg have complained of headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Other side effects can include skin problems such as rash and dermatitis.

Far more serious than bodily discomfort or inconvenience are potentially dangerous medical risks. Minocycline has been found to induce lupus, although these occurrences are rare. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that attacks the body's organs, joints, and skin as well as causing painful inflammation. The drug can also attack the liver and cause autoimmune hepatitis.

Researchers have studied rheumatoid arthritis extensively for many years, but they have so far determined no definitive cause. Medical professionals widely believe that infection plays a major part in both the development of the disease as well as in disease flares. Whether the cause is related to an infection that is the result of a prior viral or bacterial illness or injury, of environmental components, of a genetic tendency that has somehow been triggered, or something else, the use of minocycline for arthritis can reduce symptoms as well as hydroxychloroquine in some patients.

Medical science theorizes that, because minocycline is an antibiotic similar to tetracycline, it is able to reduce patient symptoms by destroying inflammation-causing bacteria. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease, meaning that sufferers become increasingly affected over time. This means that the first line of defense must be medication or alternatives that will slow or halt the disease and that symptom treatment is secondary.

There is some speculation that minocycline for arthritis might inhibit joint destruction, but this has not been proved in clinical studies. Currently, doctors give the drug not for disease prevention but as a method to help patients with the pain of joint inflammation and stiffness. It is important to note that this medication should not be taken by pregnant women or those who intend to become pregnant.

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    • Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.
      By: maska82
      Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.