Minocycline hydrochloride, also known as minocycline, is a broad spectrum tetracycline antibiotic, and was the base antibiotic of the Marshall Protocol.

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This article is an outdated summary of minocycline as it was used as part of the Marshall Protocol.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 immunopathology.

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.


American College of Rheumatology 2008 recommendations for the use of nonbiologic and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis.
Saag KG, Teng GG, Patkar NM, Anuntiyo J, Finney C, Curtis JR, Paulus HE, Mudano A, Pisu M, Elkins-Melton M, Outman R, Allison JJ, Suarez Almazor M, Bridges SL Jr, Chatham WW, Hochberg M, MacLean C, Mikuls T, Moreland LW, O'Dell J, Turkiewicz AM, Furst DE
Arthritis Rheum59p762-84(2008 Jun 15)
Registered and investigational drugs for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.
Pan A, Lorenzotti S, Zoncada A
Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov3p10-33(2008 Jan)
Treatment of early seropositive rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline: four-year followup of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
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
Arthritis Rheum42p1691-5(1999 Aug)
Minocycline neuroprotects, reduces microgliosis, and inhibits caspase protease expression early after spinal cord injury.
Festoff BW, Ameenuddin S, Arnold PM, Wong A, Santacruz KS, Citron BA
J Neurochem97p1314-26(2006 Jun)
Minocycline partially inhibits caspase-3 activation and photoreceptor degeneration after photic injury.
Chang CJ, Cherng CH, Liou WS, Liao CL
Ophthalmic Res37p202-13(2005 Jul-Aug)
Minocycline inhibits the growth of glioma by inducing autophagy.
Liu WT, Lin CH, Hsiao M, Gean PW
Autophagy7p32-41(2011 Feb 1)
home/mp/minocycline.txt · Last modified: 09.02.2019 by sallieq
© 2015, Autoimmunity Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.