Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Parkinson's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Common Antibiotic May Prevent Parkinson's

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Nov. 28, 2001 -- A common antibiotic appears to have an interesting side effect: it may prevent Parkinson's disease.

The antibiotic -- minocycline -- is known to have anti-inflammatory effects that are completely separate from its germ-killing activity. Because of this, it is often used to treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and acne.

Now a U.S.-German research team shows that the drug protects mice in an experimental model of Parkinson's disease.

Drugs like minocycline may prove effective in preventing and/or altering the progression of Parkinson's disease, report Yansheng Du, PhD, and colleagues of Indiana University and Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis; and Philipps University, Marburg, Germany. The study appears in the Dec. 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When mice are injected with a brain toxin called MPTP, their brains act like the brains of people with Parkinson's disease. If mice get minocycline before or even after taking the poison, they don't get brain damage.

Lab experiments suggest that the antibiotic protects the animals from the same kind of process seen in the brains of Parkinson's patients. If this is true, the drug itself -- or some new form of it -- could be used to treat this devastating disease.

Today on WebMD

Parkinsons disease illustration
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
hands on walker
How does the disease progress?
man with serious expression
8 common questions and answers.
intelligence quotient illustration
What are the advantages of DBS?
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Questions Doctor Parkinsons
Eating Right
Parkinsons Exercise
daughter consoling depressed mother
senior man's hands
Parkinsons Daily