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May 16, 1977

Topical Antibiotics in the Treatment of Acne

JAMA. 1977;237(20):2188. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270470024010

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To the Editor.—  We note with interest a recent report in the MEDICAL NEWS section of The Journal (237:627, 1977) on the use of a 1% hydroalcoholic solution of the antibiotics erythromycin and clindamycin in the treatment of Propionibacterium acnes. Our concern is with the caveat that "both these preparations must be prepared by the dermatologist himself." Since these antibiotics are available on the market in solid dosage forms (tablets or capsules), a certain degree of pharmaceutical expertise is required to convert these dosage forms into hydroalcoholic solutions for dermatological purposes with the assurance that maximum bioavailability and physical stability will be maintained. The pharmacist, by virtue of his (or her) training, is the practitioner most qualified to perform this manipulation.While the report indicates that topical antibiotics are used for this purpose only on an experimental basis, a large number of practicing pharmacists are being called on to prepare