Common Antibiotics Equally Effective in Treating Uncomplicated Skin Infections

Pharmacy Times, May 2015 Skin & Eye Health, Volume 81, Issue 5

A recent study that set out to determine which of 2 common antibiotics- clindamycin and trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX)- was the better treatment for skin infections found that both medications yielded similar success rates in curing uncomplicated infections.

A recent study that set out to determine which of 2 common antibiotics— clindamycin and trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX)— was the better treatment for skin infections found that both medications yielded similar success rates in curing uncomplicated infections. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was the first to compare the effectiveness of clindamycin and TMP-SMX, which are 2 of the most frequently prescribed antibiotics for serious skin infections.

A total of 524 adults and children with uncomplicated skin infections who had cellulitis or abscesses of 5 cm or more, or both, participated in the trial: 264 patients were given clindamycin and 260 received TMPSMX. The research team found that 80.3% of the patients who received clindamycin and 77.7% of those who received TMP-SMX were cured within 7 to 10 days following the end of their treatment.

“Serious skin infections can cause major medical complications and lead to the death of a patient, so it’s important to understand the most effective treatments, especially with the rise in MRSA, which is, by definition, resistant to many antibiotics,” said study author Loren G. Miller, MD, in a press release. “These are not considered significant differences, so our evaluation is that these 2 commonly prescribed antibiotics for serious skin infections are similarly effective in treating uncomplicated skin infections in children and adults who have few or no major co-existing conditions.”