A new topical antibiotic used to treat localised impetigo has been launched in the UK, freeing up its predecessor for use in the treatment of more serious conditions.
Altargo is the first drug of its kind to be developed in almost 10 years and a five-day course is as effective as a seven-day course of Fucidin (fucidic acid), the most commonly prescribed topical antibiotic in the treatment of the contagious skin infection.
Altargo belongs to a new class of antibacterials called pleuromutilins which attack bacteria in four different ways.
Resistance to fucidic acid is an increasing problem in the UK, with particularly high levels in dermatology patients.
Altargo allows fucidic acid to be preserved for systemic use in more serious conditions such as staphylococcal bone infections, in which the development and impact of resistant bacterial strains can be far more significant.
Impetigo is the third most common skin infection in children after eczema and warts.
It can also affect people who play contact sports, live in close vicinity to others or who have reduced immune defences.
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