Minocycline (On the skin)

Minocycline (min-oh-SYE-kleen)

Treats acne. Also treat pimples and red bumps caused by rosacea. This medicine is a tetracycline antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

Amzeeq, Zilxi

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to minocycline or similar medicines, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your skin condition may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine. Make sure your skin is clean and dry before you apply this medicine.
  • Allow the foam can to warm to room temperature before using it for the first time.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently. Apply it at the same time each day at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim for at least 1 hour after application.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the foam can at room temperature for 90 days. Do not store in the refrigerator.
  • The foam can is flammable. Avoid heat, flames, and smoking when you apply the medicine. Do not poke holes in the can or throw it into a fire, even if the can is empty.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how minocycline works. Tell your doctor if you are using isotretinoin, penicillin, or a blood thinner (including warfarin).
  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diarrhea, or eye or vision problems.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Slow bone growth or permanent change in tooth color (in children 8 years of age and younger)
    • Liver problem
    • Increased pressure inside the head
    • Autoimmune disorders, including lupus-like syndrome
    • Serious skin reactions, which can be life-threatening
  • This medicine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or spinning feeling. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, rash, joint pain, or body weakness
  • Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, severe sunburn or skin rash
  • Redness, dryness, itching, peeling, or discoloration of the treated skin
  • Severe diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Severe headache, blurred vision or other change in vision

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Darkening of your skin, scars, teeth, or gums
  • Lightheadedness, feeling of spinning

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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