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Cutis. 2000 Oct;66(4 Suppl):7-13.

Systemic therapy for rosacea: focus on oral antibiotic therapy and safety.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.


Although potentially significant adverse reactions and drug interactions have been reported in association with erythromycin, oral tetracyclines, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, overall these agents are associated with excellent safety profiles, especially considering their widespread use over many years. It must be considered that when these antibiotics are used for the treatment of rosacea and also for acne vulgaris, their use is on a long-term basis rather than their typical short-course regimens for most infectious diseases. As a result, dermatologists prescribing these agents may feel assured that most patients will not encounter any significant problems, but they do need to be aware of potential adverse reactions to allow for early recognition and discontinuation of the offending drug when needed. Early recognition also allows for favorable management of adverse reactions. In addition, potentially significant drug interactions may be recognized by obtaining a thorough medical history and avoiding combinations of drugs that may interact unfavorably. Fortunately, there are several choices that allow us to individually select a treatment regimen that is optimal for the individual patient, allowing for effective control of rosacea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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