An exciting study from the University of Nebraska shows that the antibiotic, minocycline, helps to prevent joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Once the cartilage in your joints is damaged, it will never heal. Doctors at the University of Nebraska treated people in the first year that they were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Half were given conventional treatment with pain medications, such as ibuprofen, and the standard immune suppressants, prednisone, plaquenil, and so forth. Half were given only the antibiotic, minocycline. Then the patients stopped taking minocycline and all were treated in the same way for the next 3 years. Four years later, almost all the patients who were not treated with minocycline were taking toxic immune suppressants and had significant joint damage, while 50 percent of those given the minocycline did not need immune suppressants. All 6 prospective studies show that rheumatoid arthritis patients who were given minocycline have far fewer symptoms and lower rheumatoid factors than those treated with placebo. There are no blinded prospective studies to show that minocycline doesn't work. See reports #J106 and #J159.

JR ODell, G Paulsen, CE Haire, K Blakely, W Palmer, S Wees, PJ Eckhoff, LW Klassen, M Churchill, D Doud, A Weaver, GF Moore. Treatment of early seropositive rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline - Four-year followup of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.Arthritis and Rheumatism, 1999, Vol 42, Iss 8, pp 1691-1695.

Checked 9/3/05

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