Minocycline-induced lupus: clinical features and response to rechallenge

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Mar;40(3):329-35. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/40.3.329.


Objective: To describe the spectrum of clinical features in patients with minocycline-induced lupus (MIL) and determine their response to rechallenge.

Methods: The clinical features and laboratory findings of 23 patients with MIL were recorded. Ten patients were rechallenged, and their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were monitored.

Results: All subjects complained of polyarthralgia; three had metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joint synovitis and one had bilateral knee effusions. Elevated hepatic transaminases were noted in eight subjects. Cutaneous vasculitis was a feature in two cases. None had renal or central nervous system disease, although five patients complained of impaired concentration and poor memory and a single patient had a peripheral sensory neuropathy. The following serological abnormalities were detected: antinuclear antibodies (19/23 patients); antibodies to double-stranded DNA (4/23); perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (10/15); IgG anti-cardiolipin antibodies (6/23); hypergammaglobulinaemia (12/19). Anti-histone antibodies were negative in 9/9 cases. Rechallenge resulted in rapid recurrence of symptoms and elevation of CRP levels.

Conclusion: MIL is associated with a wide spectrum of clinical and serological features. The diagnosis can be confirmed by rechallenge, which results in rapid reappearance of symptoms and a rise in CRP.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minocycline / administration & dosage
  • Minocycline / adverse effects*
  • Recurrence


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Minocycline