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Limit antibiotics for acne. (Primary Care: Dermatology).

Prolonged courses of antibiotics may contribute to the evolution of bacterial resistance in general. Isotretinoin (Accutane) may be associated with an increased risk of suicide. Which is worse?

Dr. Bruce Thiers believes that the evolving bacterial resistance to antibiotics is the greatest public health crisis facing the 21st century. He has seen no scientific proof of an association between isotretinoin and suicide, although people he respects maintain that the association is legitimate, he said at a conference on dermatology.

"If I have to choose between putting a teenager with moderate acne on years of antibiotics versus a course of isotretinoin that may be repeated 2-3 years later, I have become much more willing to use isotretinoin. I think it is more effective, it is probably safer, and it is certainly cheaper than years and years of antibiotic therapy" said Dr. Thiers of the University of South Carolina, Charleston.

Overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals leading to resistant organisms is of such concern that the FDA is considering requiring warning labels on antibiotics, cautioning physicians to prescribe the drugs only when clearly indicated.
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Author:Kubetin, Sally Koch
Publication:OB GYN News
Date:May 1, 2002
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