Minocycline During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on July 13, 2012

Minocycline belongs to the tetracycline antibiotics group and it is usually used over long periods of time to control acne and also to treat other bacterial infections.

Is it safe to use minocycline during pregnancy?

No, you should not use minocycline during pregnancy unless it has been prescribed to you by a doctor for the treatment of life-threatening conditions.

Pregnancy Category

Minocycline has been assigned to pregnancy category D by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). This means that there is clinical data about teratogenic effect on people and animals. However, in some serious or life-threatening conditions the expected benefit can outweigh the potential risks for the fetus.

Clearly, the treatment of acne with minocycline is not life-saving so the use of minocycline during pregnancy is usually limited to the treatment of other serious infections.

Minocycline crosses the placenta and accumulates in the skeletal system of the fetus. It can disrupt the growth and development of the bones, especially of the long ones. Taking minocycline during pregnancy can lead to permanent yellowish or grey-brown hyperpigmentation of the teeth of an infant, enamel loss and higher rates of caries later in life.

It can also lead to jaundice and intracranial hypertension in newborns.

In case you are pregnant or you plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor.  You should not become pregnant during the treatment with minocycline. It is important to know that minocycline interferes with the action of contraceptive pills so another way of contraception should be used. In case you become pregnant during the treatment, discuss the issue with your doctor as soon as possible.

Minocycline and Breastfeeding

Minocycline is excreted in breast milk and it is better absorbed by infants to a higher degree than tetracycline. Although the absorption is partly blocked by the calcium in breast milk, the use of minocycline during breastfeeding is to be avoided. The short-term treatment in low doses is considered relatively safe by some researchers. Still, the manufacturers of minocycline do not recommend its use during breastfeeding.

Minocycline can slow down the development of the teeth and bones of a newborn. It accumulates in the dentin and enamel of teeth causing yellow-brown staining at the time of dentition. It can also be a reason for enamel hypoplasia and higher predominance of caries later in life.

Having in mind these adverse effects, it is better to avoid minocycline during the period of lactation. In case no safer treatment alternative is available, discontinuing of the breastfeeding is recommended.