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Are all drugs bad?

Dr. James L. Schaller was born in Paris, France while his father served in the military. He is the first born of a large family, who took care of and protected his younger siblings. This early dedication to taking care of people became a lifestyle.

Dr. Schaller is a pioneer far ahead of routine basic medical care who has written in 20 fields of medicine.


Dr. Schaller chimed in on the value of a certain drug - minocycline.

Minocycline Fact Sheet

What is minocycline?

Minocycline belongs to a class of second-generation tetracycline oral antibiotics. It is used to treat bacterial infections including acne; pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; and infections of the skin, genital, and urinary systems. It is sometimes used to treat mild rheumatoid arthritis.

Minocycline has an established and relatively safe clinical track record since its introduction in 1971 as an acne medication. It comes in capsule form in a variety of formulations to control its bioavailability and release into the body. In addition to its antibiotic effects, minocycline appears to dampen detrimental immune responses.

Laboratory studies also suggest that minocycline protects neurons from injury in models of neurological diseases. The combined anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects have incited MS researchers to investigate this drug as a potential therapeutic for people living with MS.

How does minocycline work? Minocycline’s antibacterial effects are exerted through the molecule’s ability to pass through the membrane of vulnerable strains of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. Once inside, minocycline binds to a specific coding region in the bacterium’s genetic machinery and prevents protein synthesis, thus effectively killing the pathogen. Unrelated to its antibacterial activity, minocycline also boasts anti-inflammatory properties that make it an indication for certain chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and, importantly, render it a potential candidate for the treatment of MS.

Although its anti-inflammatory mode of action is not fully understood, minocycline is believed to prevent the migration of disease-causing white blood cells called T-cells into the central nervous system, and also suppresses certain compounds that disrupt the blood-brain barrier in animals with an MS-like disease.

Finally, minocycline suppresses the activity of various pro-inflammatory cells and molecules, including microglia and certain cytokines and chemokines. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, minocycline has recently drawn considerable research attention for its ability to promote neuroprotection in models of neurological diseases, which makes it a promising candidate for the treatment of several neurodegenerative disorders, including MS.

Minocycline has been shown to exert its neuroprotective effects primarily through at least three mechanisms. The first is the inhibition of a process of cell death called apoptosis, which affects myelin-producing cells in MS that normally mediate myelin repair. Secondly, minocycline has antioxidant activity that reduces cellular damage caused by oxidative stress that can cause damage to nerve fibers.

Lastly, minocycline protects against excitotoxicity, which can leads to cell death and inflammation. It is not clear whether minocycline acts through one or a combination of these neuroprotective or 2 inflammatory mechanisms to potentially alleviate the MS disease process.

What research has been done on minocycline and MS?

Early studies were conducted in animals with an MS-like disease to provide preliminary evidence of its potential as an MS therapeutic and to examine its mechanisms of action. Pioneering research conducted by Drs. V. Wee Yong and Luanne Metz and team and funded by the MS Society of Canada demonstrated that minocycline targeted an enzyme that is involved in stimulating inflammatory cell infiltration into the brain and inflammation. When minocycline was given to mice with both mild and severe forms of MS-like disease, symptom severity was significantly reduced and course of the disease was delayed.

Several clinical studies have since been conducted that have tested the efficacy and safety of minocycline in persons l