Doxycycline is a type of antibiotics belonging to tetracycline family. It inhibits bacteria's activity of combining proteins. Tetracyclines are relatively weak as antibiotics. But they are used to wide ranged diseases such as acne and bronchiolitis.
And, recently, a study group in Zurich University discovered a possibility to treat post-traumatic stress disorder with doxycycline.
The Conversation: How we discovered that a common antibiotic may be able to treat post-traumatic stress disorder
It is suggested that doxycycline interferes the brain cells from forming matrix enzyme around them. Matrix enzyme is essential to enhance our memory. On the other hand, symptoms of PTSD are caused by excessively stimulated brain nerves to consolidate painful memories.
Based on this hypothesis, the research team conducted an experiment. In this trial, participants were divided into two groups: taking doxycycline or placebo. Each group took a series of electric shock immediately after seeing a color panel. After completion of this learning session, participants were given the color panel again. The result showed that people having taken doxycycline had less physiological reactions.
This experiment shows limited evidence of the effect of doxycycline. Also, it is necessary for you to take doxycycline before experiencing a traumatic event for preventing the onset of PTSD. But the study team believes that doxycycline has an effect of erasing the negative connection between the bitter memory and painful reaction.
I remember that minocycline, which is also a member of tetracycline family, was expected to prevent neurological damage due to stimulants. The theory of neuroprotective effect of minocycline seems similar to that the researchers above said.
Tetracyclines are very inexpensive. If its effectiveness is proven, its clinical impact on PTSD treatment will be great. But, pharmaceutical companies would not welcome it. They would rather like to sell newly drugs.