oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Impetigo : a review with a focus on retapamulin : review

Volume 82, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Nonbullous impetigo and bullous impetigo, caused by and , can be successfully treated with topical antibiotics. Retapamulin is a semi-synthetic pleuromutilin antibiotic with bacteriostatic properties against and . It prevents bacterial protein synthesis in multiple ways, and therefore reduces the risk of resistance developing. A twice-daily application of retapamulin for five days is effective in treating primary impetigo and secondarily infected traumatic lesions and dermatoses in patients older than nine months of age. The benefits of topical treatment include low systemic absorption, with less side-effects and a lower risk of resistance when compared to oral therapy. Serious adverse events have not been reported with the use of retapamulin. The most commonly reported adverse event has been local skin irritation. If lesions do not improve after 3-4 days of treatment with retapamulin, patients should consult their doctor to further investigate and eliminate the possibility of infection with non-susceptible strains.

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