Minocycline hydrochloride, also known as minocycline, is a broad spectrum tetracycline antibiotic, and was the base antibiotic of the Marshall ProtocolA curative medical treatment for chronic inflammatory disease. Based on the Marshall Pathogenesis..

Minocycline is recognized as a DMARD (Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug) by the American College of Rheumatology, which recommends its use as a treatment for mild rheumatoid arthritis.1) To minimize its dose-dependent immunosuppressive effects, the Marshall Protocol uses minocycline at pulsed doses much lower than otherwise prescribed by rheumatologists.

Either generic or brand name is appropriate to use.

This article is an outdated summary of minocycline as it was used as part of the Marshall Protocol. The Marshall Protocol has since been changed to a monotherapy. Antibiotics, such as minocycline, are only used in select patients.

Forms of minocycline

Minocycline hydrochloride (HCL) is the generic name for an antibiotic in the tetracycline family. It is usually referred to as simply minocycline. It is fine to use the generic form, minocycline, which is also the cheapest.

Minocycline is no longer covered by patent and is, therefore, also marketed under several trade names. It is fine to use any of these brand (trade) name products: Minomycin, Minocin, Arestin, Akamin, Aknemin, Solodyn, Dynacin, Sebomin, Alti-Minocycline, Apo-Minocycline, PMS-Minocycline, and Myrac. These are all trade/brand names of the same medication.

Acceptability of generic forms

Minocycline is the generic name for an antibiotic in the tetracycline family. Generics are less expensive than a name brand. It is fine to use the generic form of minocycline.

It is also okay to use a brand name form of minocycline. For those with a sensitive stomach, the brand name Minocin is said to provide a better rate of absorption from the GI tract when taken with food. Patients may also take generic minocycline with food to decrease stomach upset. Taking the generic form on an empty stomach will speed the absorption.

Either way, if patients are consistent with the product and take it with or without food, they will achieve the same slow ramping and killing of bacteria at different serum levels of minocycline.

Changes in concentration

Concentrations of minocycline in the body change over the 48 hours between doses as shown in the following graph. The rapidly rising concentrations in the first few hours can stimulate an immune response. Some patients experience this as feeling worse in the initial hours after taking the minocycline. Later, as minocycline concentrations again fall into the immunostimulatory range, patients typically experience longer lasting and stronger symptoms of immunopathologyA temporary increase in disease symptoms experienced by Marshall Protocol patients that results from the release of cytokines and endotoxins as disease-causing bacteria are killed..

At the highest concentrations (the peak in the curve shown in the graph) the minocycline can have an immunosuppressive effect. This is experienced as a lessening of immunopathology and palliation of symptoms.

A paradox of sorts: minocycline is most effective at lower concentrations. In the hours after taking minocycline, when concentrations of the antibiotic are relatively high, the body is immunosuppressed. Later, when much of the drug is metabolized, the immune system is more active.

Dosing and administration

Related article: Dividing medications

Minocycline may be obtained in capsules or tablets. If minocycline is available in tablet form, it is easier to divide with a tablet splitter if or when it is necessary, than dividing capsules.

The easiest route is to either have the minocycline compounded at 25mg or to get 50mg tablets that can be cut in half with a pill cutter. Both of these options are more expensive than buying 50mg capsules and dividing the contents in half yourself.


When used, Minocycline is taken in doses of 25, 50, 75 or 100 milligrams every 48 hours (every 2 days). Do not take less than 25mg or more than 100mg.


Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within two hours before or after taking minocycline. These products can make minocycline less effective.


Minocycline has been in use for over 40 years yet continues to be effective against MRSA2) and to reduce disease severity even after follow-up several years later.3)

===== Notes and comments =====

At 25mg mino, the worst IP was at 18 hours after, like clockwork. At 50mg mino, worst IP is at 36-40 hours after.

Chef Bama

Minocycline Promising in Fragile X Syndrome

Minocycline, a clinically used tetracycline for over 40 years, crosses the blood-brain barrier and prevents caspase up-regulation. It reduces apoptosis in mouse models of Huntington's disease and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is in clinical trial for sporadic ALS. Because apoptosis also occurs after brain and spinal cord (SCI) injury, its prevention may be useful in improving recovery. We analyzed minocycline's neuroprotective effects over 28 days following contusion SCI and found significant functional recovery compared to tetracycline. Histology, immunocytochemistry, and image analysis indicated statistically significant tissue sparing, reduced apoptosis and microgliosis, and less activated caspase-3 and substrate cleavage.

BW Festoff 4)

Also, minocycline partially inhibits caspase-3 activation and photoreceptor degeneration after photic injury.5)

Minocycline inhibits the growth of glioma by inducing autophagy.6)

Minocycline effectively inhibited tumor growth and induced autophagy in the xenograft tumor model of C6 glioma cells. These results suggest that minocycline may kill glioma cells by inducing autophagic cell death. When autophagy was inhibited, minocycline still induced cell death through the activation of caspase-3. Thus, minocycline is a promising agent in the treatment of malignant gliomas.

===== References =====

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[PMID: 18512708] [DOI: 10.1002/art.23721]
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O'Dell JR, Paulsen G, Haire CE, Blakely K, Palmer W, Wees S, Eckhoff PJ, Klassen LW, Churchill M, Doud D, Weaver A, Moore GF. Treatment of early seropositive rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline: four-year followup of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 1999 Aug;42(8):1691-5. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(199908)42:8<1691::AID-ANR18>3.0.CO;2-S.
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Festoff BW, Ameenuddin S, Arnold PM, Wong A, Santacruz KS, Citron BA. Minocycline neuroprotects, reduces microgliosis, and inhibits caspase protease expression early after spinal cord injury. J Neurochem. 2006 Jun;97(5):1314-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.03799.x. Epub 2006 Apr 21.
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Chang C, Cherng C, Liou W, Liao C. Minocycline partially inhibits caspase-3 activation and photoreceptor degeneration after photic injury. Ophthalmic Res. 2005 Jul-Aug;37(4):202-13. doi: 10.1159/000086610. Epub 2005 Jun 29.
[PMID: 15990464] [DOI: 10.1159/000086610]
Liu W, Lin C, Hsiao M, Gean P. Minocycline inhibits the growth of glioma by inducing autophagy. Autophagy. 2011 Feb;7(2):166-75. doi: 10.4161/auto.7.2.14043. Epub 2011 Feb 1.
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