Background Systemic antibiotics such as tetracycline are well accepted as effective in treating the inflammatory papular/pustular phase of rosacea but may be associated with systemic side-effects. Few controlled data on the use of topical antibiotics in rosacea are available.
Objective We evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of 5% benzoyl peroxide and 1% clindamycin in a topical gel for the treatment of rosacea.
Methods This was a 12-week, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, randomized, prospective, parallel-group study in 53 patients with moderate to severe rosacea.
Results The mean percentage reduction in papules and pustules from baseline to the end of treatment was 71.3% in the benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin group (n = 26) and 19.3% in the vehicle group (n = 26; P = 0.0056). A significant (P = 0.0141) difference in favor of benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin was evident by the third week of treatment. Severity scores for erythema, papules/pustules, and flushing/blushing decreased more with benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin than with vehicle. Overall rosacea severity, Physician Global Assessment, and Patient's Global Assessment at the end of treatment were all significantly improved with benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin compared with vehicle (P = 0.0101, 0.0026, and 0.0002, respectively). Application site reactions were reported in four patients (14.8%) in the benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin group.
Conclusion A once-daily topical application of a combination of 5% benzoyl peroxide and 1% clindamycin is effective and well tolerated in patients with moderate to severe rosacea.