Sounds like 'min-o-sye-kleen'

Minocycline is an antibiotic used to treat different infections caused by bacteria. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Antibiotic (to treat infections)
  • Tetracycline antibiotic
  • Minomycin®
  • Minotabs®

What is minocycline?

Minocycline is an antibiotic used for skin infections such as acne. In New Zealand, minocycline is available as tablets (50mg) and capsules (100mg). It is only partially funded so you will have to pay a part-charge when collecting your minocycline from the pharmacy.


  • The usual dose of minocycline is  50 or 100 mg once or twice a day.
  • Your doctor will advise you how long to take minocycline for.
  • The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.
  • Note: minocycline is not usually given to children younger than 12 years because it can affect growing teeth and bones.

How to take minocycline

  • Take minocycline with food and a large glass of water.
  • Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking minocycline or do not take it just before bed.
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take it at the right time; do not take double the dose.
  • You can drink alcohol while taking minocycline.

Precautions while taking minocycline

Sun protection

Minocycline can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You can get a burning, tingling feeling on your skin when you are in the sun, or you may notice a darker tan or redness. When outside, protect your skin and eyes by using a good sunscreen (at least SPF30+), a sunhat, long-sleeved tops and full-length bottoms, and wearing sunglasses.

Taking other medicines

Taking some medicines such as antacids and iron preparations at the same time as minocycline can reduce its effect in fighting infection. Do not take indigestion remedies, iron or calcium preparations within 2 hours of taking minocycline.

Precautions before starting minocycline

  • Are you pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding?
  • Do you have liver or kidney problems?
  • Do you have lupus or myasthenia gravis?
  • Are taking any other medicines? This includes any medicines you are taking which you can buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start minocycline. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

What are the side effects of minocycline?

Like all medicines, minocycline can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • Take minocycline after a meal.
  • Diarrhoea (runny poos)
  • These may go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Dizziness
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not drive until you feel safe to do so.
  • Problems with your eyesight or hearing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
  • Changes to the colour of your skin or nails
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist
  • Vaginal itching, soreness or discharge (thrush)
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of the lips, face, and mouth or difficulty breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116 
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product


Minocycline interacts with some medicines and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting minocycline.


  1. Minocycline New Zealand Formulary
  2. Doxycycline and minocycline SafeRx, Waitematā DHB 

Additional resources for healthcare professionals

Minocycline NZ Formulary
Mino tabs Medsafe, NZ
Minomycin capsules Medsafe, NZ
Minomycin tablets Medsafe, NZ
Managing acne in primary care BPAC, NZ, 2013
Appropriate use of tetracyclines BPAC, NZ, 2013

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 21 Feb 2019