Amoxicillin was effective in treating inflammatory acne in patients with refractory disease, according to a study published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology.
Researchers performed a retrospective chart review to analyze the efficacy and safety of systemic amoxicillin on inflammatory acne. All 26 patients involved in this study had unsatisfactory results using topical medication, hormone therapy, and/or isotretinoin for at least 12 weeks. In addition, 84.6% experienced no benefit from another antibiotic, 11.5% were allergic to sulfonamides, and 11.5% had undesirable antibiotic side effects. These patients added amoxicillin to their current treatment, and researchers used the Comprehensive Acne Severity Scale to complete pre- and post-treatment evaluations.
Post-treatment evaluations indicated that 84.6% of the patients had a positive response, 11.5% had no response, and 3.8% had a negative response. After the evaluation period, continuation of treatment occurred in 77.3% of patients until they transitioned to hormonal or topical treatments, withdrawal from treatment occurred in 9.1% of patients due to gastrointestinal adverse events and in 13.6% of patients due to self-reported treatment dissatisfaction, and the remaining 15.4% were neutral to treatment.
During the first follow-up visit, 85.7% of patients who received 1000 mg of amoxicillin had improvement and 83.3% showed improvement who received 1500 mg of amoxicillin daily.
Future studies need to evaluate the use of other antibiotics as second-line treatments to patients with refractory disease and/or contraindications as well as the efficacy and tolerability of antibiotics during pregnancy.
In conclusion, these results indicate that amoxicillin is an effective second-line treatment for patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne.
Guzman AK, Choi JK, James WD. Safety and effectiveness of amoxicillin in the treatment of inflammatory acne. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2018; 4(3):174-175.