BACKGROUND: Minocycline has neurological anti-inflammatory properties and has been hypothesised to have antipsychotic effects.

AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate, using routinely collected United Kingdom primary health care data, whether adolescent men and women are more or less likely to receive an urgent psychiatric referral during treatment for acne with minocycline compared with periods of non-treatment.

METHOD: A self-controlled case series using United Kingdom Clinical Practice Research Datalink to calculate the incidence rate ratio of urgent psychiatric referrals for individuals, comparing periods during which minocycline was prescribed with unexposed periods, adjusted for age.

RESULTS: We found 167 individuals who were at the time exposed to minocycline for a mean of 99 days and who received an urgent psychiatric referral. There was no difference in psychiatric referral risk during periods of exposure compared with periods of non-exposure: incidence rate ratio first 6 weeks of exposure 1.96, 95% confidence interval 0.82-4.71, p=0.132; incidence rate ratio remaining exposure period=1.97, 95% confidence interval 0.86-4.47, p=0.107.

CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence in support of a protective effect of minocycline against severe psychiatric symptoms in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-471
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • acute psychiatric referral
  • Schizophrenia
  • tetracycline


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