Topical retapamulin was effective for impetigo

Topical retapamulin was effective in clearing impetigo lesions according to a presentation given at the recent Maui Derm conference.

Topical retapamulin was effective in clearing impetigo lesions in two studies, according to a poster presented at the Maui Derm conference, held January 25-29, 2021.1

“Impetigo is a common skin infection mainly in children, primarily cased by Staphylococcus aureus,” wrote Theodore Rosen, MD, of the department of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Retapamulin (Altabax; GlaxoSmithKline) 1% is an FDA-approved topical antibacterial agent to treat impetigo in those older than 9 months of age.

The first study, a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial, included 139 subjects treated with retapamulin and 71 treated with placebo. Each treatment was applied two times a day for 5 days.

Clinical success, defined as complete clearance of lesions, was shown in 89.5% of patients treated with retapamulin according to protocol compared with 53.2% of those treated with placebo (P < .0001). In patients who took at least one dose of the study medication, 85.6% of the study group and 52.1% of the placebo group experienced clinical success (P < .0001).

A second study, a phase 3 randomized, observer-blinded, noninferiority comparative study, compared retapamulin 1% and fusidic acid 2%.

The 346 subjects in the retapamulin group applied the ointment twice daily for five days, while those in the fusidic acid group applied it three times daily for 7 days.

Clinical success, defined as a total absence of treated lesions compared with baseline, was shown in 99.1% of those in the retapamulin group who followed study protocol compared with 94% of those in the fusidic acid group (P = .003).

In those who took at least one dose of the medication, 94.8% of the retapamulin group and 90.1% of the fusidic acid group saw clinical success at the end of treatment; the difference was not statistically significant.

“These studies show that topical retapamulin is an effective and safe treatment for primary impetigo,” the authors wrote.

Reference:

1. Two studies demonstrate effectiveness of retapamulin to treat impetigo. Accessed October 27, 2021. https://www.healio.com/news/dermatology/20210127/two-studies-demonstrate-effectiveness-of-retapamulin-to-treat-impetigo