Use of oral antibiotics for treatment of acne is associated with over three times as many reported episodes of pharyngitis, compared with those who don’t take oral antibiotics, a US study has found.
In the cross-sectional study, 145 of a total of 266 university students had acne – 15 of these were taking oral antibiotics for acne, and 130 were not.
Some 66.7% of those taking oral antibiotics reported an episode of pharyngitis in the previous month, compared with 36.2% of those who had acne but were not taking oral antibiotics. Of the 251 students who did not receive oral antibiotics – including those who did not have acne – 32.7% reported pharyngitis. The unadjusted odds ratio was 3.53.
Researchers also conducted a nine-month prospective cohort study. Of 579 participants, 358 had acne, and 36 of these were taking oral antibiotics. Of those taking oral antibiotics, 11.3% reported pharyngitis, compared with 3.3% of all participants not taking oral antibiotics. The adjusted odds ratio was 4.34.
No association was noted between pharyngitis and use of topical antibiotics for acne – odds ratio of 0.63.
Lead author Professor David Margolis, professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania said: ‘The true clinical importance of these findings needs to be evaluated further by prospective studies’.