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August 1962

Gastrointestinal Absorption of Tetracyclines

Arch Dermatol. 1962;86(2):135-136. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590080005001

A sharp difference in reports from two observers of the same subject often brings to light a significant phenomenon which may have been overlooked. In the March, 1962, issue of the British Journal of Dermatology, in a paper by Smith et al.,1 it was found in a double-blind study of patients with acne that there was no significant difference between the groups receiving placebo and demethylchlortetracycline. Approximately 20% of the placebo group improved, and 30% of the demethylchlortetracycline. This is contrary to the experience of many careful observers. Hicks2 reported in a double-blind study of acne that 31% of the placebo group improved, whereas 70% of the demethylchlortetracycline group showed significant improvement. Hicks's results are in contrast to those of Smith et al. and more in keeping with the opinion that tetracyclines in a dose of four capsules a day, continued for at least four weeks, probably is