A double-blind trial of a zinc sulphate/citrate complex and tetracycline in the treatment of acne vulgaris

Br J Dermatol. 1979 Sep;101(3):321-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1979.tb05626.x.


Forty-eight patients participated in a 3-month double-blind study to compare the effect of orally administered zinc sulphate/citrate complex and tetracycline hydrochloride in acne vulgaris. Tetracycline significantly reduced the overall grade, and the number of non-inflamed lesions, papules and pustules by the third month. It also reduced significantly the non-inflamed lesions and papules at the end of the second month. In contrast, zinc therapy only had a significant effect on the pustules at the third month. The results indicate that tetracycline is far superior to the zinc complex in patients with moderately severe acne.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Citrates / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Sulfates / therapeutic use
  • Tetracycline / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*


  • Citrates
  • Sulfates
  • Tetracycline
  • Zinc