Minocycline as Treatment for Psychiatric and Neurological Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Mar 9;24(6):5250. doi: 10.3390/ijms24065250.


Minocycline has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties that explain the renewed interest in its use as an adjunctive treatment for psychiatric and neurological conditions. Following the completion of several new clinical trials using minocycline, we proposed an up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis of the data available. The PICO (patient/population, intervention, comparison and outcomes) framework was used to search 5 databases aiming to identify randomized controlled trials that used minocycline as an adjunctive treatment for psychiatric and neurological conditions. Search results, data extraction, and risk of bias were performed by two independent authors for each publication. Quantitative meta-analysis was performed using RevMan software. Literature search and review resulted in 32 studies being included in this review: 10 in schizophrenia, 3 studies in depression, and 7 in stroke, with the benefit of minocycline being used in some of the core symptoms evaluated; 2 in bipolar disorder and 2 in substance use, without demonstrating a benefit for using minocycline; 1 in obsessive-compulsive disorder, 2 in brain and spinal injuries, 2 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, 1 in Alzheimer's disease, 1 in multiple systems atrophy, and 1 in pain, with mixes results. For most of the conditions included in this review the data is still limited and difficult to interpret, warranting more well-designed and powered studies. On the other hand, the studies available for schizophrenia seem to suggest an overall benefit favoring the use of minocycline as an adjunctive treatment.

Keywords: adjunctive treatment; meta-analysis; minocycline; neurology; psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bipolar Disorder* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Minocycline / therapeutic use
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder*
  • Schizophrenia* / drug therapy


  • Minocycline
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Grants and funding

A.J.W. gratefully acknowledges support from a Trisno Family Fellowship funded in part by an NHMRC CRE (1153607). M.B. is supported by an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship and Leadership 3 Investigator grant (1156072 and 2017131). W.M. is currently funded by an NHMRC Investigator Grant (#2008971) and a Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia early-career fellowship.