Implications for topical antibiotics in clinical practice

Although traditionally considered less effective than oral therapy, there is some good evidence that local treatments are equal to or more effective than oral treatment. In general, oral antibiotics have more side-effects, especially gastrointestinal side-effects. Fusidic acid and mupirocin are equally effective. Most studies date back 10 years or more. Resistance patterns have changed since then. Contemporary and local characteristics and resistance patterns of the causative bacteria should always be taken into account when choosing treatment. When a large area is affected or when the patient has general symptoms such as fever, oral therapy seems more appropriate.

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