Latebreakers: Ointment for impetigo given nod

May 7, 2007

Impetigo is a bacterial skin condition common in children and characterized by blisters that may itch. Now there is a new antibacterial ointment approved to treat this condition. Retapamulin (Altabax 1%, GlaxoSmithKline) is the first of a new class of antibacterials known as pleuromutilins. According to the manufacturer, no other antibacterials use the same specific mode of action.

The activeingredient works by binding toa site on the 50S subunit ofthe bacterial ribosomeand inhibits proteinsynthesis through aninteraction with theribosome. Retapamulin isapproved for the treatment ofimpetigo due to susceptiblestrains of S. aureus or S. pyogenesin patients nine months of age or older. The ointmentshould be applied twice daily for five days.