Minocycline (Subgingival)

Minocycline is used to treat diseases of the gum, otherwise known as periodontal disease. It is applied by an oral doctor or dentist.


Minocycline is used in the treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a disease of the gums that is caused when bacteria grows underneath the gum line. This drug works by preventing an amount of the bacteria from growing. By lowering the number of bacteria, this helps to reduce swelling of the mouth and inflammation and the amount of bleeding around the teeth. This drug is placed inside gum pockets located next to your teeth to help to minimize the depth of the pockets.

This medication will be applied by an oral health care professional such as your dentist. It is available in the dosage form of powder.

Conditions treated

  • Periodontal disease

Type of medication

  • Powder

Side effects

Alongside the intended effects of this drug, its use can produce some unwanted side effects. Not all of these may be present, but if they are, you may require medical attention.

Consult with your doctor right away if you suffer from any of the following side effects while taking this drug:

More common

  • Bleeding from the gums

Less common

  • Foul breath odor

Some of the side effects that occur don't typically require medical attention as they usually disappear once your body starts adjusting to the drug. However, you can ask your healthcare professional for advice on ways to reduce or prevent the intensity of these side effects. You should let your healthcare team know if any of the following side effects linger or become bothersome.

More common

Less common

Other side effects can occur in patients that are not listed above. You should seek medical advice if you notice anything unusual.


The proper dose of any medication will depend upon initial factors as well as the specifics of the medication you are receiving. Your doctor will consider your age, weight, and height, other medical conditions you suffer from and any medication you take to treat those conditions. They will also consider the strength of the medication, the duration of your treatment and your reaction to the first dose.

Your dentist will determine the amount of medication that is put into your gum pockets. The final dose of medication that will be used will be decided by the depth of the pockets and the number of teeth that need treatment.

After the medication is placed in your mouth, you should try to avoid any actions that could cause the medication to come out. For example:

  • Don't chew crunchy, hard, or sticky foods for one week after treatment.


Drug interactions can occur with this drug. These could produce severe side effects or even reduce the treatment of this drug. To avoid these interactions occurring, it's best to give your doctor a full list of any other medicines you are taking, including any other medical conditions you may suffer from. You should include prescription, nonprescription drugs, herbal products and all vitamin supplements. In most cases, your doctor will do their best to avoid treating you with a drug that will produce interactions, but in some circumstances, it may still be the best treatment plan for you.

The use of this medication alongside any of the following is not typically recommended. Your doctor may avoid treating you with this drug or change some of the other drugs you are taking.

  • Acitretin

The use of this medication alongside any of the following medications is not usually recommended. However, in some cases, it may be required. If you are prescribed both medications together, your doctor may change the dose or frequency in which you use either medication.

  • Amoxicillin
  • Pivampicillin
  • Penicillin G Benzathine


  • Methoxyflurane

The use of this medication alongside any of the following medications can increase your risk of some side effects. However, in some cases, it may still be the best treatment plan for you. If you are given both drugs together, your doctor may change the dose or frequency in which you use either medication.

  • Vitamin A

Other Interactions

Some medications cannot be used at or around the time of consuming food or eating specific types of food since it can cause interactions. The use of alcohol and tobacco can also increase the risk of interactions with certain medications. You should discuss with your doctor about the use of this medication alongside alcohol, food, and tobacco.



Let your doctor know if you have ever suffered from an allergic reaction to this medication or any other medicines. You should also let them know about any other allergies you suffer from including to dyes, animals, foods or preservatives.

Pediatric population

The use of this drug is not recommended for children up to eight years old or infants. Tetracyclines, such as minocycline, can slow down the growth of bones and cause permanent discoloration of teeth. Therefore, the efficacy and safety of minocycline have not been determined in children eight years of age or above.

Geriatric population

Many medications have not specifically been studied in older people. Therefore, it can be unknown whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause a variation in problems or side effects in the older population. There is currently no specific information that compares the use of this drug in the elderly against the use of other age groups.

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding

This drug is under FDA pregnancy category D. You should not use minocycline if you are currently pregnant. It can harm the unborn child and/or cause tooth discoloration which could be permanent in later life. You should use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy whilst you are using this medication, whether you are a woman or man.

Let your doctor know immediately if a pregnancy occurs while either the father or mother is taking this drug. The use of this medication by either parent can lead to tooth discoloration later in the child's life.

This drug can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. You should seek advice from your healthcare team about using a non-hormonal both control such as a diaphragm with spermicide or a condom, to ensure you don't fall pregnant whilst using this drug.

Minocycline can pass into breast milk and could affect tooth and bone development in a nursing child. You shouldn't breastfeed whilst you are taking this medication.

Check with your dentist right away if you have swelling or pain or other problems in the treated areas.

It's very important that your dentist monitors your progress. Don't miss any scheduled dental appointments.

Tetracyclines, such as minocycline, can cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, exposure to sunlight, even for a short period of time, could cause redness, a skin rash, itching, or other discoloration of the skin, or even severe sunburn.

After you receive this drug:

  • When possible, stay out of direct sunlight, specifically between the hours of 10am and 3pm.

If you suffer from a severe reaction from the sun, you should seek advice from either your doctor or dentist.


This drug will be stored in a dental, clinical setting and you will receive it via a dental procedure. You will therefore not need to worry about home storage for this medication.


When used correctly this drug is successful in the treatment of Periodontal disease. Due to a large number of interactions possible, it's important that you make your health care team aware of all the current medications you are taking. This drug should not be used in children under the age of eight years old. You should not use this drug whilst pregnant as it could cause permanent discoloration of the teeth of the child, or cause harm to the baby. It's best to avoid breastfeeding whilst using this medication. The safety and efficacy of this drug have not been established for use in the older population. It's important that your dentist monitors your progress whilst using this medication, so you should keep all dental appointments. This drug can make you more sensitive to sunlight, so it's important to take precautions when exposed to sunshine to prevent damage. If you require any further information about the practical uses of this medication, or you have any more questions, then you should contact your local healthcare professional or dentist for more advice.