Promise of Tetracycline Antibiotic for Osteoarthritis
14 Jul 2005Â Â
Study Shows Effectiveness of Doxycycline in Slowing Disease Progression. A tetracycline antibiotic, doxycycline, has been successfully used to treat a wide-range of bacterial infections. In addition to its effects as an antibiotic, doxycycline has other actions as a drug and, in laboratory studies with animals and with human tissue, can inhibit the degradation of cartilage in a way that could be useful for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a common form of arthritis associated with pain and disability related to the breakdown of cartilage, the tissue in the joint that absorbs shock and promotes smooth movement.
On the strength of preclinical evidence, a team of rheumatologists affiliated with six clinical research centers across the United States conducted the first long-term clinical trial to determine the benefits of doxycycline in the treatment of OA-particularly, OA of the knee. Their findings, featured in the July 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism ( http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis), suggest that doxycycline may slow the progression of joint damage and point to the need for further research into the drug's effect on the signs and symptoms of this disease.