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Acne Therapy Reduces Rate of Multiple Sclerosis Progression

June 7, 2017

Minocycline, a common acne medicine, has been found to reduce the rate of multiple sclerosis progression in patients who are at early stages of the disease. This was found in a Canadian study through Phase 3 MinoCIS trial of the medication. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, titled, “Trial of Minocycline in a Clinically Isolate Syndrome of Multiple Sclerosis.” The trial consisted of 142 patients between the ages of 18 and 60, who displayed the first signs of what was suspected to be MS, 180 days before starting the treatment. Patients either received 100mg of oral minocycline twice a day or a placebo. After six months, researchers discovered that the risk of a patient’s disease progressing from a myelin-damage event to full-blown MS was half as low in the minocycline treated group than in the placebo group.

The researchers said that minocycline appears to help MS patients by reducing the inflammation that damages the natural protection of nerve cells, the myelin sheath. Damage to the sheath causes the first MS symptoms. There are many success stories from the trial. One includes a patient who experienced the first signs of what might be MS. After two years in the trial while taking minocycline, she is symptom-free and has not been diagnosed with MS. Although this acne therapy has some positive results, it has not treated MS, but has made future treatment easy and affordable.

“Patients will now have yet another treatment option, one that does not require injections, monitoring lab work, or special authorization by their insurance company, provided they have adequate coverage to begin with,” said Luanne Metz, the study’s lead author. “These processes can delay treatment initiation for three to four months, whereas minocycline can be started immediately.”