Clindamycin versus phenoxymethylpenicillin in the treatment of acute orofacial infections

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The efficacy of clindamycin and phenoxymethylpenicillin in the treatment of orofacial infections was compared in a randomised study in 60 patients: 30 patients received clindamycin 150 mg every 6 h for seven days, and 30 received phenoxymethylpenicillin 1 g every 12 h for seven days. Where indicated incision and drainage were carried out. All patients but one in each group responded satisfactorily to treatment. Although the clindamycin group had a shorter duration of pain, swelling and fever and more favourable laboratory findings, the differences between the groups were not statistically significant. Of the 60 microbiological specimens 23 yielded only anaerobic bacteria, 34 both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, two aerobic bacteria only and one no growth. In the penicillin group one case of severe diarrhoea occurred, and six patients in the clindamycin group had moderate to severe gastrointestinal discomfort, including one case ofClostridium difficile associated diarrhoea. This difference was however not statistically significant. The results support the continued use of penicillin for treatment of orofacial infections, with clindamycin serving as an effective alternative.