Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine showed that the antibiotic, doxycycline, helps prevent knee damage in people who suffer from knee osteoarthritis.

Participants were given 100 milligrams of doxycycline twice a day for 30 months. Those who received doxycycline reported more than a 33 percent decrease in loss of joint cartilage. Patients taking the antibiotic were also less likely than those in the placebo group to report worsening of pain throughout the course of the study. Researchers say doxycycline also appeared to help the patients' good knees -- even when X-rays showed that the joints in these knees were normal. Evidently, doxycycline relieves knee pain by blocking enzymes that break down cartilage. This study shows doxycycline may slow the progression of structural damage and help reduce joint pain. See reports #J106 and #J159.

Kenneth D. Brandt, M.D, The American College of Rheumatology''s Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 23-28, 2003

Checked 9/3/05

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