Navigation Links
Penicillin Prevents Return of Leg Infection Called Cellulitis: Study

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- For people who have suffered from cellulitis of the leg, a long course of low-dose penicillin prevents the painful infection from returning, British researchers report.

Once the penicillin is stopped, however, its protective effect diminishes and the condition can flare up again, the researchers noted.

"Low-dose penicillin substantially reduces the risk of further episodes of leg cellulitis in those who have had two or more previous episodes," said lead researcher Hywel Williams, a professor of dermato-epidemiology at the University of Nottingham.

"The penicillin reduced recurrences from 37 percent in the group taking placebo to 22 percent in those taking penicillin," Williams said. "But this effect only occurred in the period that folks took the penicillin. When they stopped the 12 months of penicillin, the protective effect wore off."

Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and deep underlying tissues. The two most common causes are Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria and group A strep. The bacteria enter the body through an injury such as a bruise, burn, surgical cut or wound, as well as through athlete's foot.

Symptoms can include fever and chills, swollen glands or lymph nodes, and a rash with painful, red, tender skin. In addition, the skin may blister and scab over.

The usual treatment is antibiotics, but the condition commonly returns when treatment is stopped.

Doctors and their patients now have reliable information on a possible way of reducing recurrences of this disabling and painful recurrent disease, Williams said.

"We now know for the first time that low-dose penicillin works, but we don't know how long it should be taken for and whether giving long-term antibiotics may cause resistance problems in the community in the long term, or whether it should be given for people with a first episode of cellulitis or just those with two or more previous episodes," he said.

The report was published in the May 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

One expert doesn't think this treatment is anything new.

"I know keeping you on antibiotics will prevent cellulitis from recurring," said Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. "The problem is that the protective effect diminishes once drug therapy is stopped.

"This is what I do with older people. I keep them on antibiotics for a longer period of time so that they don't have a problem, but once you take them off they're just as vulnerable as they were before," Green said. "That's just common sense."

In addition, Green worries that keeping people on antibiotics for extended periods helps build the bacteria's resistance to the drug.

For the new study, Williams' team randomly assigned 274 people who had suffered from cellulitis of the leg that had been treated to one year of treatment with low-dose penicillin or placebos.

Over three years of follow-up, people taking penicillin saw a recurrence of cellulitis 626 days after the drug was stopped, compared with 532 days for those in the placebo group, the researchers found.

While on penicillin, 30 people had a recurrence of cellulitis, compared with 51 patients taking the placebo, they found.

More information

To find out more about cellulitis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Hywel Williams, Ph.D., professor, dermato-epidemiology, University of Nottingham, England; Michele Green, M.D., dermatologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; May 2, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Economic analysis finds penicillin, not "the pill," may have launched the sexual revolution
2. New drug prevents spread of human prostate cancer cells
3. Antibody therapy prevents gastrointestinal damage following radiation exposure in mice
4. Protein prevents DNA damage in the developing brain and might serve as a tumor suppressor
5. Intense light prevents, treats heart attacks
6. Biosynthetic grape-derived compound prevents progression of Alzheimers disease in mice
7. Fatty acid found in fish prevents age-related vision loss: U of A medical research
8. CNIO researchers discover a new therapy that prevents lung cancer growth in mice
9. Pitt: Targeted oxidation-blocker prevents secondary damage after traumatic brain injury
10. Treated Vaginal Ring Prevents HIV in Monkeys
11. A carefully scheduled high-fat diet resets metabolism and prevents obesity
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Penicillin Prevents Return of Leg Infection Called Cellulitis: Study
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will ... their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head ... “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the ... 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading ... bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... San Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... 1969 Janis Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of ... 1969 at the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... and Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, ... ... the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo ... X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 ... the "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Devices Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of a Biologics License Application (BLA) with ... Administration (FDA) for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to ... the first adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA ... biosimilar pathway. Sean E. Harper , M.D., ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... WOODBURY, N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden ... access and optimizing treatment outcomes for patients suffering from ... its request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining ... between the two companies. --> ... aggressively pursuing all of its legal options. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: