Minocycline in active rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Arthritis Rheum. 1994 May;37(5):629-36. doi: 10.1002/art.1780370505.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of minocycline in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Minocycline (maximal oral daily dose 200 mg) or placebo was administered in a 26-week, randomized, double-blind study to 80 patients with active RA, who were treated or had previously been treated with at least one disease-modifying antirheumatic drug.

Results: There were 15 premature discontinuations: 6 (5 taking minocycline) because of adverse effects, 8 (all taking placebo) because of lack of efficacy, and 1 (taking placebo) because of intercurrent illness. There was a statistically significant improvement in the minocycline group over the placebo group. There was a pronounced improvement in laboratory parameters of disease activity; however, improvement in clinical parameters was less impressive. The observed adverse effects attributable to minocycline were mainly gastrointestinal symptoms and dizziness.

Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that minocycline is beneficial and relatively safe in RA patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minocycline / adverse effects
  • Minocycline / blood
  • Minocycline / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Minocycline