Comparison of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (augmentin) for the treatment of nonbullous impetigo

Am J Dis Child. 1989 Aug;143(8):916-8. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150200068020.


We undertook a prospective double-blind controlled study to compare the efficacy of a drug that usually has no antistaphylococcal activity (amoxicillin trihydrate) with the efficacy of the same drug with an addition of a beta-lactamase inhibitor (amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid [Augmentin]) in the treatment of nonbullous impetigo. Fifty-one culture-positive patients, aged 6 months to 9 years, were included, 26 in the amoxicillin group and 25 in the Augmentin group. The study groups were clinically and bacteriologically comparable at the start of the study. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from all patients and beta-hemolytic streptococcus from 14 (29%). All staphylococci were sensitive to Augmentin but resistant to amoxicillin. Forty-nine patients completed the study. The clinical response was significantly better among the Augmentin recipients (marked improvement in 71% and 95% of patients after 2 and 5 days, respectively; no new lesions during the treatment course) than among the amoxicillin recipients (marked improvement in 44% and 68% of patients after 2 and 5 days, respectively; new lesions appeared in 20% of patients). Recurrence within 3 weeks occurred in 12 (26%) of 49 patients, and no difference was observed between the two groups. We conclude that S aureus is common in nonbullous impetigo, and that at least in some cases it plays an important role in the course of the disease that can be altered by specific therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use*
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clavulanic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Impetigo / drug therapy*
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification


  • Clavulanic Acids
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination
  • Amoxicillin