Do antibiotics work for arthritis? The minocycline story...

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Many years ago, some arthritis specialists advocated the idea that rheumatoid arthritis was due to infection by small organisms called mycoplasma.

They recommended treatment with tetracycline, a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Since that time, well controlled studies have demonstrated that RA is probably not due to mycoplasma and that for the most part, tetracycline therapy was not effective.

However, there have been a few good studies showing that a tetracycline derivative, called minocycline, may have therapeutic effect in some instances.

The beneficial effect is probably due to suppression of the action of destructive enzymes called metalloproteinases.

The effect is very modest and should be reserved for the mildest of RA cases. Patients who are pregnant, who have less than normal kidney function, or who are sensitive to tetracycline, should not take the drug. Another bothersome side-effect in women is the development of yeast infections.

The absorption of the drug is generally good orally but antacids decrease absorption. Minocycline may also reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Patients who take this drug should avoid excessive sunlight exposure.

Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, rashes, and discoloration of teeth.

I have used minocycline on occasion in rheumatoid arthritis. The effects are modest. Nonetheless, it's were using in patients with very mild RA.

Get more information about minocycline and related topics as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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