Solodyn Acne Medication

Extended Release Minocycline

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Solodyn is a brand name for extended-release minocycline.  It is taken orally, in a tablet, and used to treat moderate to severe inflammatory acne vulgaris.

Solodyn only works for those red, pus-filled pimples and papules. It won't improve non-inflammatory breakouts like blackheads and whiteheads.

It can be used by children 12 years and older, as well as adults with acne.

Solodyn is available in five different strengths.

  Your dermatologist will determine the strength you need based on your weight.

How Solodyn Works

Solodyn belongs to a group of antibiotics called tetracyclines. It improves acne by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin, as well as decreasing inflammation.

Solodyn is a bit different from regular minocycline medication because it slowly releases medication over time.  More than likely, you’ll use Solodyn alongside acne treatment medication, like benzoyl peroxide.

It can take 12 full weeks before you really start to see an improvement of your skin.  Try to be patient.

Ideally, you will be slowly weaned off of oral antibiotics after you’ve seen some good improvement of your skin.  You’ll still need to use your topical acne medications, though, otherwise pimples will come back.

Other Brand Names

Solodyn isn’t the only minocycline medication.  You can get generic extended-release minocycline.

  Immediate-release minocycline is also available. 

How To Use Solodyn

Solodyn is taken once a day.  You can take Solodyn any time that suits you and is easy for you to remember.  You do need to take it at the same time every day though.

Although Solodyn can be taken on an empty stomach, some physicians recommend taking it with food.

  Ask you dermatologist how he/she wants you to take your medication.

Possible Side Effects

Be aware that Solodyn can cause side effects, like any medication.  The most common are:

  • light headedness or dizziness
  • headache
  • itchiness
  • tiredness

If you get severe diarrhea, or severe headaches, while you’re using this medication, you’ll want to let your doctor know ASAP. 

Minocycline does come with a higher risk of serious side effects compared to other tetracycline antibiotics.  Although it’s rare, there is a risk of drug-induced lupus.  This risk increases the longer you use minocycline, so it’s best to use it for the shortest time possible.  Luckily, this usually goes away once the drug is stopped.

Minocycline can also cause bluish discolorations on the skin, gums and teeth, nails and sclera (the white part of the eye.)  Again, this isn’t too common and more likely with long-term use. 

But just as when you’re taking any medication, if any other issues arise, let your physician know right away. 

Don’t Use Solodyn If

If you’re allergic to tetracycline antibiotics, you shouldn’t use Solodyn.

Solodyn is best used by those over the age of 12. If used by younger children, it can cause permanent tooth discoloration.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use Solodyn. Solodyn is a FDA Pregnancy Category D medication, and can harm a developing fetus.  Also, men shouldn’t take Solodyn if you’re trying to conceive a child with your partner.

There may be other reasons why Solodyn isn’t a good treatment choice for you, so have a discussion with your dermatologist.

Solodyn isn’t the only acne treatment choice for moderate to severe acne.  Other oral acne medications or prescription topical treatments might be a more appropriate choice for you. 

Tips for Solodyn

Don't chew or break the tablets. Solodyn tablets are meant to dissolve slowly, giving a steady dose of medication over time. If you break the tablet before you take it, you'll get too much medication at one time.

Take your medication at the same time every day.  Take it with your morning coffee, just after dinner, or whenever is convenient, so long as you're consistent.

If you take one pill in the morning one day, and then in the evening the next, it won’t work as well.  You’ll have too much medication in your system at once, and not enough at other times. 

Questions?  Concerns?  Give your derm a ring.  Your dermatologist is there to help you.  Don’t hesitate to give their office a call if you have questions or concerns about your treatment.  

Sources:

Medicis, the Dermatology Company.  “Solodyn Minocycline HCI Extended Release Tablets Highlights of Prescribing Information.” [Package insert].  Scottsdale, AZ.  Oct 2013.

Mohannad S, Ruiz D.  “Minocycline for acne vulgaris.”  Am Fam Physician.  2013 Sep 1; 88(5):300.

Torok HM.  “Extended-release Formulation of Minocycline in the Treatment of Moderate-to-severe Acne Vulgaris in Patients Over the Age of 12 Years.”  J Clin Aesthet Dermatol.  2013 Jul; 6(7):19-22.

Garner SE, Eady A, Bennett C, et al.  “Minocycline for acne vulgaris: effricacy and safety.”  Cochrane Database Syst Rev.  2012 Aug;8:CD002086.pub2.

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