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January 1965

Treatment of Skin Infections With Nafcillin

Author Affiliations


From the Section of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Emory University Clinic, Emory University.

Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Emory University School of Medicine, Emory University.

Arch Dermatol. 1965;91(1):63-65. doi:10.1001/archderm.1965.01600070069011

In an effort to evaluate the effect of nafcillin, a new semisynthetic penicillin, on the staphylococcus, 53 patients with staphylococcal infections of the skin, soft tissues, or mucous membranes were treated orally with 250 or 500 mg four times daily. The Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-positive, was cultured in 52; the β-hemolytic streptococcus occurred as the sole infective organism in the throat of one. The β-hemolytic streptococcus complicated the infection in one and the enterococcus in seven. In vitro, all organisms were susceptible to nafcillin.

Most were treated for one week or less. Eighty-one per cent were cured (lesions completely healed at termination of treatment), including all who received the 500 mg dose. Eight per cent were clinically or bacteriologically improved, including the one patient who had a complicating streptococcal infection and five of those who also had enterococcal infections. Eleven per cent (six patients) had a poor result.

The clinical performance in this series suggests that the compound exerts a high degree of bactericidal activity against the organisms commonly recovered from infections of the human skin and soft tissues. Nafcillin therefore should be of value in dermatologic practice. The recommended oral dose is 500 mg four times a day.