Randomized controlled trial of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for uncomplicated skin abscesses in patients at risk for community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.
Author(s): Schmitz GR, Bruner D, Pitotti R, Olderog C, Livengood T, Williams J, Huebner K, Lightfoot J, Ritz B, Bates C, Schmitz M, Mete M, Deye G
Affiliation(s): Department of Emergency Medicine, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA. GillianMD@gmail.com
Publication date & source: 2010-09, Ann Emerg Med., 56(3):283-7. Epub 2010 Mar 26.
Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is now the leading cause of uncomplicated skin abscesses in the United States, and the role of antibiotics is controversial. We evaluate whether trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole reduces the rate of treatment failures during the 7 days after incision and drainage and whether it reduces new lesion formation within 30 days. METHODS: In this multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we randomized adults to oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or placebo after uncomplicated abscess incision and drainage. Using emergency department rechecks at 2 and 7 days and telephone follow-up, we assessed treatment failure within 7 days, and using clinical follow-up, telephone follow-up, and medical record review, we recorded the development of new lesions within 30 days. RESULTS: We randomized 212 patients, and 190 (90%) were available for 7-day follow-up. We observed a statistically similar incidence of treatment failure in patients receiving trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (15/88; 17%) versus placebo (27/102; 26%), difference 9%, 95% confidence interval -2% to 21%; P=.12. On 30-day follow-up (successful in 69% of patients), we observed fewer new lesions in the antibiotic (4/46; 9%) versus placebo (14/50; 28%) groups, difference 19%, 95% confidence interval 4% to 34%, P=.02. CONCLUSION: After the incision and drainage of uncomplicated abscesses in adults, treatment with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole does not reduce treatment failure but may decrease the formation of subsequent lesions. Copyright (c) 2010 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.