In one of your issues, you cited the antibiotic Minocin as being linked to triggering autoimmune illness, namely, lupus. At around age 16, I was put on Minomycin for acne. Apart from digestive upset and allergies, it worked.

At 18, I started taking the Pill along with the Minomycin. In my early 20s, my acne resurfaced and my doctor gave me Minocin, telling me it was the same as Minomycin. Instantly, I suffered side effects severe digestive upsets and weight loss.

A year later, I restarted the Pill. One day, out of the blue, I had an episode of severe dizziness, followed by a migraine of such intensity and duration that I went to see my doctor. I also wanted an answer to other perplexing ‘incidents’ lack of blood flow to my fingers and toes, strange purple spots on my jawline which bled beneath the skin, breathlessness and strange flu like episodes.

The doctor told me that on no account could the Pill cause headaches, and that I needed to see a psychiatrist. I reacted by throwing out all of my acne medication and pills. Within four weeks, I felt better.

My acne, however, worsened considerably, so I reluctantly obtained more Minocin. The new packet had a leaflet saying that Minocin is thought to increase bloodflow to the capillaries, which is believed to contribute to healing acne. Horrified, I didn’t take the medication as my previous bleeding beneath the skin was probably due to the drug.

At 28, I became pregnant, and everything was fine for the first six months. Then, I began to feel very tired, and the baby stopped growing. At 30 weeks, I gave birth to a stillborn baby. A doctor at the hospital told me he had seen such a case before in a woman with lupus and blood tests were needed. But, at the six week check up, the obstetrician told me I didn’t have lupus antibodies, but antibodies to cardiolipin. Could this have caused the stillbirth? Years passed. I was unable to become pregnant again.

Then, a magazine article on lupus described a related problem called ‘sticky blood in pregnancy’. I wrote to the lupus group cited in the article and asked them what anticardiolipin was. They sent me a photocopy of a paper stating that it was the name of the antibody they had referred to.

Eventually, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease like lupus. HS, Sussex……

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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