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A double-blind controlled evaluation of the sebosuppressive activity of topical erythromycin-zinc complex

  • Pharmacodynamics
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In a double-blind randomised study, 14 volunteers applied 4% erythromycin plus 1.2% zinc (Zineryt lotion) and 4% erythromycin lotions, each on half of the forehead twice daily for 3 months. The sebum output was evaluated at 3-week intervals using the photometric and the lipid-sensitive film methods. Evaluations of casual level (CL) and sebum excretion rate (SER) were made with a Sebumeter, and total area of lipid spots (TAS) was measured on Sebutapes. Compared to baseline values, the formulation of the erythromycin-zinc complex induced significant reductions in SER after 6 and 9 weeks, and in CL and TAS at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks. The mean reduction in TAS was over 20% for four successive 1-h samplings on completion of the study. Significant reductions in CL, SER and TAS were observed for the erythromycin-zinc formulation compared to the control lotion at 6 and 9 weeks, and also at 3 weeks for SER and TAS, and at 12 weeks for CL and TAS. This study indicates that sebum output is significantly reduced by the erythromycin-zinc complex. This reduction is theoretically beneficial for the acneic patient.

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Piérard-Franchimont, C., Goffin, V., Piérard, G.E. et al. A double-blind controlled evaluation of the sebosuppressive activity of topical erythromycin-zinc complex. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 49, 57–60 (1995).

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