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More infections with long-term antibiotics

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PHILADELPHIA, Sep 19, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Philadelphia researcher has found that long treatment with antibiotics for acne greatly increases the risk of respiratory infection.

Dr. David Margolis of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School used a British data base to get information on patients who were treated with antibiotics for more than six weeks and those who were not. He found that the group who had gotten antibiotics were more than twice as likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection in the next year.

"The true clinical importance of our findings, in which patients and practitioners need to balance the risk of these infections with the benefits that patients with acne receive from this therapy, will require further investigation," Margolis said. "However, patients with acne represent an ideal model in which to study the long-term effects of antibiotic therapy, the risks associated with colonization, and the risks of increasing resistance among bacterial pathogens exposed to antibiotics during treatment."

Margolis said that in spite of recent concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria there have been few studies of patients who have received long-term antibiotic treatment.

The study was published in the Archives of Dermatology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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