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Lack of Significant Anti-inflammatory Activity With Clindamycin in the Treatment of Rosacea

 Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease of the face. The objective of the studies described here was to evaluate the efficacy of clindamycin in the treatment of rosacea. Two multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled, phase 2 studies were conducted in participants with moderate to severe rosacea. Study A was a 12-week dose-comparison, 5-arm, parallel group comparison of clindamycin cream 1% or vehicle once or twice daily and clindamycin cream 0.3% once daily. Study B was a 2-arm comparison of twice daily clindamycin gel 1% versus vehicle gel. A total of 629 participants (study A, N=416; study B, N=213) were randomized. The results of these studies indicated that clindamycin cream 0.3% and 1% and clindamycin gel 1% were no more effective than the vehicle in the treatment of moderate to severe rosacea, suggesting clindamycin has no intrinsic anti-inflammatory activity in rosacea.

Practice Points

  • Clindamycin cream 0.3% and 1% and clindamycin gel 1% were no more effective than their respective vehicles in the treatment of moderate to severe rosacea.
  • Clindamycin may have no intrinsic anti-inflammatory activity in rosacea.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by central facial erythema with or without intermittent papules and pustules (described as the inflammatory lesions of rosacea). Although twice-daily clindamycin 1% solution or gel has been used in the treatment of acne, few studies have investigated the use of clindamycin in rosacea. 1,2 In one study comparing twice-daily clindamycin lotion 1% with oral tetracycline in 43 rosacea patients, clindamycin was found to be superior in the eradication of pustules. 3 A combination therapy of clindamycin 1% and benzoyl peroxide 5% was found to be more effective than the vehicle in inflammatory lesions and erythema of rosacea in a 12-week randomized controlled trial; however, a definitive advantage over US Food and Drug Administration-approved topical agents used to treat papulopustular rosacea was not established. 4,5 Two further studies evaluated clindamycin phosphate 1.2%-tretinoin 0.025% combination gel in the treatment of rosacea, but only 1 showed any effect on papulopustular lesions. 6-8The objective of the studies reported here was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of clindamycin in the treatment of patients with moderate to severe rosacea.

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About Dr. J. Kim

Dr Kim developed (and is continuing to develop) dermatology research news as we way from dermatologists to stay on top of the latest advances in the field of dermatology.

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