Combination therapy with clindamycin and rifampicin for hidradenitis suppurativa: a series of 116 consecutive patients

Dermatology. 2009;219(2):148-54. doi: 10.1159/000228334. Epub 2009 Jul 8.


Background: Antibiotics are frequently used to treat hidradenitis suppurativa (HS); however, few data on their efficacy are available.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a combination of systemic clindamycin (300 mg twice daily) and rifampicin (600 mg daily) in the treatment of patients with severe HS.

Methods: Patients (n = 116) who received this combination were studied retrospectively. The main outcome measure was the severity of the disease, assessed by the Sartorius score, before and after 10 weeks of treatment.

Results: The Sartorius score dramatically improved at the end of treatment (median = 29, interquartile range = 14.5, vs. median = 14.5, interquartile range = 11; p < 0.001), as did other parameters of severity as well as the quality of life score. Eight patients (6.9%) stopped the treatment because of side effects.

Conclusion: The combination of clindamycin and rifampicin is effective in the treatment of severe HS.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Clindamycin / administration & dosage*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / diagnosis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rifampin / administration & dosage*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Clindamycin
  • Rifampin