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Acne Treatment Often Not in Line With Current Guidelines

Mean therapy duration was 175.1 days; 62 percent of antibiotic courses not given with topical retinoid

teen with acne

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.K. general practitioners, acne treatment is often not in accordance with current guidelines, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

John S. Barbieri, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the duration of oral tetracycline therapy and use of topical retinoids in a retrospective cohort study. Data were collected from the Health Improvement Network database for patients with acne primarily treated by general practitioners in the United Kingdom.

The researchers found that the mean therapy duration was 175.1 days. Overall, 62 percent of antibiotic courses were not associated with a topical retinoid, and 29 percent of antibiotic courses exceeded a six-month duration. Approximately 3.3 million antibiotic days per year could be avoided if all regions were to achieve uses similar to the region with the shortest mean duration of therapy.

"Prescribing behavior for oral antibiotics in the treatment of acne among general practitioners is not aligned with current guideline recommendations," the authors write. "Increasing the use of topical retinoids and considering alternative agents to oral antibiotics when appropriate represent opportunities to reduce antibiotic exposure and associated complications such as antibiotic resistance and to improve outcomes in patients treated for acne."

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