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(retapamulin ointment 1%, GlaxoSmithKline)

A topical antibiotic approved for treatment of impetigo caused by susceptible strains of Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes in patients aged 9 months and older. Altabax is from the first new class of topical antibiotics approved in nearly 2 decades.

* Recommended Dosage: Apply twice daily for 5 days.

* Special Considerations: Application-site irritation was the most common adverse event reported in clinical trials.

* Comment: Efficacy was based in part on a clinical trial in which 139 children and adults with impetigo applied Altabax twice daily for 5 days while 71 others applied placebo ointment. Treatment was successful in 86% of the Altabax group vs. 52% of the placebo group. Safety was determined with data for approximately 2,000 patients aged 9 months and older treated with Altabax and about 1,000 similar patients treated with a different antibiotic or placebo.

The pleuromutilin class of antibiotics inhibits protein synthesis of bacteria strains that cause impetigo.

"The greatest advantage to my knowledge is that it has a different mechanism than currently approved agents, and therefore may give us an advantage when resistant organisms are encountered," said Dr. Kenneth Wible, chief of the section of general pediatrics, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "I would encourage everyone to use it wisely. If it is overused, we may lose it as an agent with which to tackle resistant organisms.

"Given the increasing frequency of highly resistant bacteria causing cutaneous infections, the more options we have available, the better off we are." said Dr. Wible, who has no financial affiliation with Altabax or GlaxoSmithKline.
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Title Annotation:NEW & APPROVED
Author:Mechcatie, Elizabeth; McNamara, Damian
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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