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.