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Cutis. 2005 Apr;75(4 Suppl):6-11.

The anti-inflammatory effects of tetracyclines.

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  • 1Clinical Research Center, Department of Dermatology, St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York, USA.


Tetracyclines commonly are used in medicine and dentistry because of their efficacy and safety as bacteriostatic antimicrobial agents. As such, tetracyclines function by inhibiting bacterial multiplication and growth. In addition to these effects, tetracyclines have anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to exhibit several intracellular and extracellular biologic effects that are not related to antibiotic activity. These activities correlate with anti-inflammatory and anticollagenolytic properties. This article will review the anti-inflammatory properties of the tetracyclines and the various clinical applications related to these actions. In addition, the use of subantimicrobial dose doxycycline 20 mg twice a day (SDD) will be discussed because of its anti-inflammatory effects.

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