Metronidazole 1% cream, applied twice daily, was compared with tetracycline 250mg, administered orally 3 times daily, in a 2-month double-blind multicentre study of 101 patients with rosacea.
Both metronidazole and tetracycline significantly (p < 0.05) reduced mean numbers of pustules and papules by at least 50% within 1 month of treatment. This was followed by further decreases in the mean number of papules and a levelling off in numbers of pustules at month 2 in both groups. Overall, patients in both groups considered their condition ‘much improved’ relative to that before treatment, and physicians considered their patients’ conditions improved without significant interference from adverse effects.
The results indicate that metronidazole, applied topically as a 1% cream twice daily, is as well tolerated and as effective as standard therapy with tetracycline for the treatment of rosacea.