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Severe allergic reaction to Minocycline? Help

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I'm about to go through my medical history for the past year because not a single docktor knows what they're doing, so I'm hoping someone here can help.

I was Accutane(sortret) 5 months ago for mild facial acne. I took it for 5 months @ 80mg a day. It worked like a charm and I was clear up until about a month ago. I started breaking out and called my derm to see what she thought. She perscribed me Minocycline antibiotics and Benzaclin topical gel.

To recap, I was Accutane 5 months ago, and I've had perfect health through the treatment and up until now. For the 5 months post accutane I've been washing my face twice a day with cetaphil and applying Tazorac gel on my entire face every night. Like I said, this kept me clear no worries.

Since my relapse she told me to take one 100mg Minocycline tablet every day without food, just a full glass of water. She said to apply BenzaClin in the morning to infected areas ONLY and continue to apply Tazorac at night over my entire face.

This cleared me up instantly, I mean the very next day. I continued this method for a week, using very little BenzaClin because I was only supposed to use it on infected areas only, in which I didn't have any anymore.

Then a week later I woke up one morning and my head was itching like crazy. I mean I literally couldn't keep my fingers from itching it. By mid day my chest was covered with giant red bumps. By dinner time, my eyes were swollen, the bottoms of my feet had bumps so I couldn't walk, my arm joints ached, and any place there was pressure I had lines of bumps. Like where my belt and pants were, my seat belt, and my neck was horrible because I wear tight tshirts.

I took Benadryl every 4 hours and once I realized it wasn't going away I went to first med and they told me to stop taking the Minocycline and they gave me a shot(didn't tell me what it was) and I was back to normal 24 hours later. This was after a week of starting the antibiotics. I was fine every since I left first med, but now two weeks later it came back.

I'm sitting here typing this not knowing what I'm allergic too. I stopped the Minocycline two weeks ago, and I'm breaking out all over my chest again. This time though, it isn't as bad. It isn't affecting my feet, joints, or eyes this time. It's all under my clothes, or anywhere I apply pressure. I went to a different first med, and they gave me another shot so we'll see how I react this time. But I desperately need help in finding out what I'm allergic too.

I know it's not accutane because I stopped that half a year ago, so that's out. I know it's not Tazorac because I've been using that for 5 months, and despite being sun burn in-a-tube, it keeps my skin clear and I've had zero issues with it.

That leaves either BenzaClin or the antibiotics. The antibiotics were stopped two weeks ago, so my question is, is it possible that it's still in my system? Do you think there is enough in there to make me react AGAIN after not taking anymore pills?

The only other thing it could be, doesn't make since. I apply a very, VERY small amount of BenzaClin at night just to my face, and I seem to be reacting every where I DON'T apply it to, like chest, back, etc.

Besides that, I took one 800mg Ibuprofen pill yesterday to relieve a headache, and that's all the medication/topicals I've had the past year.

I haven't had any new foods, haven't changed deoderants, haven't changed laundry detergents, I might've changed body soap and I am looking into that, but what should I do? Is it one of the following, or should I look elsewhere?

*Minocycline 100mg antibiotics(weeks worth)

*BenzaClin(three weeks worth)

*One Ibuprofen 800mg anti inflammatory(one yesterday)

If it matters, the only thing I know I'm allergic to is Sulfa. I checked the ingrediants and BenzaClin has a close relationship to Sulfa but not quite. PLEASE HELP.

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Hi o_rly_123! How are you doing now? I am so sorry you had to go through all this. I want to tell you a quick version of what I went through because I do believe a reaction can last a lot longer than what doctors think.

I was prescribed minocycline for a cyst behind my ear. I took 1 dose and not long after I felt extremly tired, to the point I had to pull over on the side of the road and sleep. It was weird just out of nowhere I couldn't hold my eyes open, felt like I was gonna vomit and dizzy. I called my Doc who them called in tetracycline. I expressed my concerns to the doc and to the pharmacist that this was in the same family of drugs and they thought it would be okay. It took me several months to get up the courage to take it and after 4 days of it I was covered in a rash that itched so bad. I have wrote about this a few times because while I was suffering and doctors couldnt help me, I needed advice from others so if you want, you can read the entire story on my post about it. To make a long story short, I suffered from the allergic reaction for at least 4 months.

I hope yours is over and you are now doing great. If you have any questions, let me know.

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I would think it's the antibiotics. I was on an antibiotic similar to Minocycline called Doxycycline that messed up my stomach so badly that it's still giving me problems months after I stopped taking it. Ibuprofin also causes some problems. I would stop taking the antibiotic and see a medical doctor right away. Be sure to tell him about all of the medications you've been taking. Good luck.

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Im sure now that years have passed you have your answer, but i am currently fighting off my own minocycline allergic reaction and found this post in researching my own symptoms. I just wanted to provide information for others for future reactions.

I started mino on a friday- two pills per day for 30 days was the plan. I was to use mino to clear up hormonal chin acne that just wouldn't go away. I was on mino for just over a week- on sunday morning, day 9 i woke up around 6 am took my morning pill and decided to go back to bed for a bit longer. Around 10 i woke up with itchy hands and arms. I quickly showered thinking maybe i had been bit by something or had a reaction to a lotion i used the day before. Within minutes of my shower i began seeing tons of red and skin colored bumps on my stomach, hands and ankles.

By noon i was literally scratching holes in my legs and hands- the itching was like nothing i had ever experienced- more than i could handle. I decided to swing by a local cvs just 3 or 4 miles from my home. Once i got to cvs i was so uncountable i actually RAN into the store and to an nurse in the "minute clinic" she took one look at me and just said "you need to go to urgent care." I assumed she was overreacting so went to the back of the store looking for Benadryl and an anti-itch cream. A pharmacist noticed me frantically scratching my now bright red legs and told me to get to urgent care asap.

I bought and took a Benadryl and drove a mile to urgent care. Once inside the receptionist glanced at me and ran back to a nurse and yelled out "we have an allergic reaction here!" The nurse quickly brought me back to a room- the doctor came in- asked what meds i had been taking. I only had the mino and the one Benadryl just moments earlier- he said without a doubt i was having a reaction to the mino. They gave me 60 mg of prednisone and two aterax pills. He sent me home with a prescription for one more day worth of prendisone and said to go sleep it off with the Benadryl. By the time i left urgent care, only about three hours after first noticing the itching i was covered head to toe in welts and hives. They were in my hair, face, arms, stomach, back, butt, legs, ankles, fingers and toes- i was BRIGHT red.

Once home i slept much of the day and went to bed for the night around 6, only to wake up every few hours to scratch the crap out of my legs and take more Benadryl. By monday morning i was extremely uncomfortable. The hives were everywhere and now my eyes were nearly swollen shut, plus my ears were huge and really painful. I stayed home from work thinking the second dose of prendisone later that day would clear me up.. It did not. I did start to feel a little better and thought maybe i was in the clear. I was wrong. By 9 pm monday night my hives were eating me alive. My hands, wrists, ears and eyes were all bright red and extremely swollen. My throat began to feel closed off- i couldn't get relief from Benadryl or anything else. Without a doubt that was the most pain i had ever been in. By 1 am i had to call for help. My boyfriend picked me up and brought me to the ER. I was immediately taken to a room and given an epi-pen shot, 60 mg of prendisone and aterax. My throat cleared up and eye swelling went down a lot. After a bit the itching got less intense though the hives were still bright colored, puffy and sore. I was sent home by 5 am and in bed a half hour later. The ER sent me home with three days worth of prednisone, aterax, Zantac, two more epi pens (in case) and a prescription for a medrol pack if needed after the prednisone was done.

I woke up about two hours later- hoping to go to work for at least a half day. My skin was raw and reallllly sore. Wrists, hands and ears still very swollen but i was able to get myself to work though very uncomfortable. I used ice packs throughout the day on my hands and wrists and took an aveno oatmeal bath in room temp water when i got home. I am now on day 4- most swelling is gone and hives are roughly 80% gone. I am noticing my chest and lungs have hurt throughout the day but its nothing compared to the pain in the days before. I truly believe it was the epi pen that did the most good for me.

My suggestions if you are experiencing a mino reaction- stop taking it asap and throw that shit away. Go in to a doctor for prednisone and aterax (which i found to work better than Benadryl). Also, stay away from anything hot- no hot showers, baths, food, rooms, blankets- heat did nothing but make the hives worse. Lastly, water. Drink water like its going out of style.




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I just wanted to add my two cents worth in on antibiotics that doctors prescribe that contain sulfa or are related to the sulfate family.

Almost 30 yr.s ago now I had the unfortunate experience of taking Bacitracin for a slight bacterial infection prior to my honeymoon. Three days after starting the medication I had ulcer's break out in my mouth; not tiny little canker sores, which are bad enough, but huge ulcers on my inner cheek and under my tongue. That night my throat became extremely sore and sure enough there were more there. By morning I was throwing up, couldn't hardly urinate because it hurt so bad; yes, the ulcers were THERE too! By day three I lost my hearing, couldn't talk due to the pain in my mouth and couldn't eat, barely could drink as even water felt like fire to my sores. I refused to go to a doctor because we were in Mexico and I didn't trust them. I had my husband get hydrogen peroxide for me to gargle with and attempted to ease the pain with that. During all this we attempted to get home but couldn't due to it being hurricaine weather and though we weren't in danger, we couldn't get mainland! Finally, six days of hell and being in bed the entire time (not the way I wanted to be in bed), we flew home. By this time, I could no longer open my mouth due to the pain and wrote notes to communicate. I could drink very cold milk which saved me from dehydration. When we arrived home we went straight to the hospital where I was told I had a reaction to the antibiotic, which I had figured out and quit taking that third day. They said the sulfa reaction manifested itself in the smooth lining of my intestinal tract so from my mouth clear through to elimination areas I was a mess of ulcers! They could only give me mouth rinses and tylenol (no codeine) for the pain, told me to drink water to flush it out and I would be fine in a few days. Six weeks later the ulcer under my tongue was just beginning to heal! I had never experienced anything like it in my life! Needless to say all my doctor and pharmacy records were clearly marked with Sulfa allergy after that! I had heard of hives on the skin and it making people very ill, but never inside like it did to me!

Fast forward 6yrs later. I had a urine infection and was given another antibiotic. I asked at the pharmacy if it was related to sulfa drugs in anyway and they told me no. Now remember all my charts AND the pharmacy had me listed as allergic to sulfa. One day after taking one dose of the medication, I began the mouth ulcers! I called the pharmacy and they said, it was related but not everyone had a reaction! I was furious! Of course it was the weekend and by Sunday, I was in misery all over again, including not being able to urinate properly so off to the ER. I don't even know how to explain the treatment I was given in the ER other than to say it was disgusting. My husband and I arrived and I explained my symptoms. We were immediately isolated from the rest of the patients into an isolation room. When my husband asked why, they said the doctor or I could explain. I didn't understand. The next thing I know a nurse comes in all covered head to toe, tells me to get undressed and into a gown because the doctor needs to do a genital exam. When I asked what was going on and that it was my mouth I needed help with, she said she would get the doctor who also came in all covered in head to toe and asked me why I was pretending to have something I didn't and why didn't I just come out and say what I had and how dare I put everyone in the hospital in danger! By this time I was so confused I didn't know what to do other than cry. My husband, not the most confrontational guy on the planet, finally said what are you talking about she is having an allergic reaction to sulfa! The doctor scoffed and said to me so you haven't even told him the truth?! I said, through very gritted teeth and sore mouth what are you talking about? He said we know you have active AIDS and most likely genital herpes! Both of you will have to be quarantined and tested! Women like you should know better! What?!! I said are you joking?! How did you come up with that?! My husband at this point lost it and asked for another doctor saying he didn't know what was going on, but I didn't have AIDS and no one had even looked at me, let alone was there anything anywhere in any data base that would point to me having AIDS so who the hell did he think he was?! About now the doctor started looking a bit like he might have stepped in it. He excused him self saying he would be right back, but still wanted to exam me. I gritted out, over my dead body! My husband and I were astonished and of course I was sobbing, which made everything I was feeling that much worse. Finally the doctor came back but this time with a female doctor who said there had been a misunderstanding but they would still have to examine me and take "tests". I refused. They said if I refused they would get a court order. What?! You still don't believe me? I said look in my mouth, look at the prescription we brought in, call my GP and stop this crap! I was slobbering this all out. They talked quietly and my husband said, look, go get the hospital administration or whoever is in charge today, this is ridiculous! Oh, no need for that! They got on the phone in the room to my GP and sure enough he told them what was going on. They left without a word, a nurse came in with a prescription for a mouth rinse, which I refused, but my husband took and told us we could leave. I was stunned! There was no apology for their rude behavior or actions. I know if I could have talked (yelled) I would have been demanding some answers. I had never felt as mortified in my whole life, not to mention indignant! As it happened after visiting my GP the next day for more efficient and better treatment, he inquired at the hospital about the incident. Of course nothing was mentioned/written except that I had became highly "agitated" and "offended" when it was "asked" if my symptoms could have been the result of a sexually transmitted dIsease and refused to be examined! Little did these people know I had been in the medical field for 15 yrs and was well acquainted with medical protocol and how charting notes can be manipulated to favor the doctors. We filed a complaint with the hospital but of course received only a letter of apology and a no charge for the ER visit. I wanted the doctor(s) written up but to do that we would have had to get a lawyer and it would have been our word against their and since theirs was on paper, they most likely would have won...so backwards and oh, so wrong!

That allergic episode took 4 weeks to recover from until the ulcers were out of my body!

Since that time I have been faithful about researching ANY medications and/or antibiotics I am given. I am so sensitive to sulfates that I have to use sulfate free shampoo and products or I am itching all day (a more common side effect/allergic reaction). When my daughter had to have antibiotics growing up and they contained sulfa, I couldn't give them to her in fear that I would get them on my skin (a small cut) and into my system. Anyone who has had an allergic reaction like this or one that is life endangering understands what I am talking about.

My latest run in with sulfa drugs has happened just today when a dermatologist I am seeing for adult acne prescribed Minocycline. He assured me it had no relationship to sulfa/sulfates. Ha! All of the informational warnings from the pharmaceutical companie that make the drug say not to prescribe, or take if allergic to sulfa drugs! I am totally aghast that a doctor would, who actually gave me a handout stating these facts, went ahead and attempted to prescribe this drug to me! My pharmacy called and told me I needed to contact my doctor, which I had already left a message for. What is with these people?! Perhaps if some of these doctors had to experience the side effects this medication had on us, they wouldn't be so blaze' about prescribing it to us!

I have had other antibiotics for other reasons without problems so I know there are other medications that are non-sulfa based. I may have to remind this guy that we aren't all sheep that can follow the same treatment plan and he needs to do his homework on each person he sees!

Hopefully, I will get this resolved soon. I am 57 and have the worst facial acne I have had in my life! I am post menopausal so it is obviously from other hormonal/body related issues. I've already been through the food/drink elimination diet and many facial cleansers (prescribed and over the counter) over the past two years and nothing has worked. I, myself, have cut back on using any face products except one that has the least amount of ingredients, no dyes, perfumes, parafens and of course, sulfates (inexpensive too!). My moisturizer is the same. I use very little makeup in an attempt to not clog pores! It is so hard not to want to cover this all up, too! When I was in my late 20's I was put on Accutane and it nearly killed me by wiping out all my white blood cells so I am not going on that at this age and I refuse to do the laser/resurfacing skin treatments as, one it is ridiculously expensive and two, people are realizing it, too causes scaring. The next step would a very expensive thymus and adrenal gland testing which my insurance will not pay for because it is "cosmetic". I looks like I will be fighting acne for the rest of my life! Great!

Anyway, just watch out for whatever it is your physician prescribes and if you feel anything odd, immediately stop taking the medication, call your doctor or get to an urgent care or ER right away as it could save your life in the case of an anti-phylactic shock (can't breath). My experience in ER, although embarrassing, wasn't life and death, but I should have received relief for my symptoms. I wouldn't hesitate to go now days if I should ever be unlucky enough to have to. Good luck to all.

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I had a reaction to minocycline as well. My reaction was more of a side effect a rare one though. My joints in my knees and ankles swelled up terribly. To the point where when I woke up and got out of bed to stand I collapsed on the ground. I couldn't even stand or walk. It turned out it was a reaction to the minocycline. After stopping the antibiotic it took 4 months for the medication to leave my system and before I returned to my normal condition.

So my bet is it is still the antibiotics.

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