Antibiotics and antiseptics for venous leg ulcers

University of York, Health Sciences, Area 3 Seebohm Rowntree Building, Heslington, York, UK YO10 5DD.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 02/2008; 14(1):CD003557. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003557.pub2
Source: PubMed


Venous leg ulcers are a type of wound that can take a long time to heal. These ulcers can become infected and this might cause further delay to healing. Two types of treatment are available to treat infection: systemic antibiotics (i.e. antibiotic tablets or injections) and topical preparations (i.e. applied directly to the wound). Whether systemic or topical preparations are used, patients will also usually have a wound dressing to cover the wound and maybe a bandage too. This review was undertaken in order to find out whether using antibiotics and antiseptics works better than usual care for healing venous leg ulcers, and if so, to find out which antibiotic and antiseptic preparations are better than others. In terms of topical preparations, there is some evidence to support the use of cadexomer iodine. Further good quality research is required before definitive conclusions can be made about the effectiveness of systemic antibiotics and topical agents such as povidone iodine, peroxide-based preparations, ethacridine lactate and mupirocin in healing venous leg ulceration.

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    • "Clinicians have long been searching for ways to obtain "super normal" healing of wounds using different models (5-7). These investigators found thiamine (vitamin B1) (8), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) (3, 9,10) riboflavin (11), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (12,13) vitamin A(14), cortisone (15,16), vitamin E (17,18), copper (19), manganese and silicone (19-22), and CO2 laser (23) effective on wound healing process. Among them, one managed to show that zinc supplementation would result in the improved healing of granulating open wounds (24-28). "
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    • "Iodine has excellent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity but should be used with caution in patients with thyroid disease and in pregnancy. In particular, topical application of cadexomer iodine has been found to be effective for healing venous leg ulcers.19 Iodine dressings should be changed every other day. "
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