Rheumatoid Arthritis can be treated in it's early stages with antibiotics which seem to help relieve pain in some sufferers.
Scientists report that an antibiotic used to treat acne has improved swollen painful joints in some people but admit therapy should begin in the early stages of this crippling disease.
Some Rheumatologists treat patients with minocycline but admit it isn't a cure, and when the antibiotic is discontinued the problems come back.
Antibiotic therapy has been controversial. Science hasn't proven that an infection causes Rheumatoid Arthritis and studies with minocycline show modest effects.
Antibiotic therapy utilizes low dose antibiotics, particularly those of the tetracycline family, to attack the disease at its source. This therapy is based on the belief that rheumatic disease is caused by an elusive organism called a mycoplasma, similar in some ways to both a virus and bacterium, but much smaller. The antibiotic can be taken in low dose without building up a tolerance to the drug and without serious side effects of conventional medications.
Usually Minocin is the antibiotic of choice. It is prescribed at very low dose, one or twice a day three days a week.
Other antibiotics like Tetracycline or Doxycycline are frequently substituted for Minocin and both have proven to be effective.
Many doctors feel there is an advantage in using Minocin over other antibiotics. Minocin has an extended spectrum of activity and stays in the system longer and at higher levels than tetracycline.
Side effects from using antibiotics can cause yeast infections, especially in women. Minocin, however, seems to have some anti-yeast activity. Some people experience a heightened sensitivity to sunlight.
In children who have not yet cut their permanent teeth, tetracyclines can cause staining of the teeth. Food can impair the absorption of some antibiotics (not as true of doxycycline or minocycline) so they are to be taken on an empty stomach.
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