The use of tetracyclines for the treatment of sarcoidosis

Arch Dermatol. 2001 Jan;137(1):69-73. doi: 10.1001/archderm.137.1.69.


Background: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of minocycline in the treatment of sarcoidosis, a nonrandomized, open study was performed in patients with cutaneous sarcoidosis.

Observations: Twelve patients with cutaneous sarcoidosis were treated with minocycline, 200 mg/d, for a median duration of 12 months. Three patients had extracutaneous lesions at the time of the study. The median follow-up was 26 months. A clinical response was observed in 10 patients, consisting of complete responses in 8 patients and partial responses in 2 patients. A progression of skin lesions was observed in 1 patient, and lesions remained stable in another patient. Adverse effects were minimal, except in 1 patient, who developed hypersensitivity syndrome. A slight hyperpigmentation occurred in 2 patients at the site of previous lesions, which completely disappeared after minocycline use was discontinued. A relapse of skin symptoms occurred after minocycline withdrawal in 3 patients, who further received doxycycline, 200 mg/d, allowing a complete remission of lesions.

Conclusions: These results support that minocycline and doxycycline may be beneficial for the treatment of cutaneous sarcoidosis. Randomized controlled studies are warranted for the evaluation of the true efficacy of tetracyclines in these patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arm
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forehead
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minocycline / therapeutic use*
  • Radiography
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Minocycline