The pendulum is swinging

February 6, 2015

The long-term use of antibiotics for the treatment of acne will contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Industry is responding to the need for antibiotic-free treatment options.

Industry is responding to the need for antibiotic-free treatment options. Galderma’s Epiduo gel, an antibiotic free acne treatment, is the number one topical prescription drug for acne in the world, according to Humberto C. Antunes, Galderma’s president and chief executive officer. Galderma no longer produces topical acne products containing antibiotics and is focused on developing antibiotic-free acne options, according to Antunes. 

“The long-term use of antibiotics for the treatment of acne will contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance,” he says. “I think, by joining the CDC, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to dermatology patients ….”

But there’s much more work to do. After all, it’s not easy to change long-term prescribing behaviors. The shift in thinking about antibiotic use should start in medical schools and dermatology training, says Diane S. Berson, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a founding member of the American Acne and Rosacea Society.

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“I think it’s important to teach our residents and medical students about this because, when I was training, I was taught that it was fine to use both topical antibiotics and oral antibiotics simultaneously,” Dr. Berson says.

The need for continued education of not only consumers but also doctors is a given. SPAUD plans to provide clinicians with updated recommendations on optimal antibiotic prescribing and focused on monitoring patient information on antibiotic resistance and its significance in dermatology, according to Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D., president of AARS and professor of pediatrics and medicine (dermatology), University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The forthcoming AARS SPAUD publication will include a wide range of information on antibiotic resistance (http://acneandrosacea.org/education/news/3rd_spaud) and its significance to dermatologists, he says.

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