Clarithromycin (Biomycin) is an antibiotic in the Macrolide family. Clarithromycin has a broad spectrum activity of activity against many types of bacteria, including those that cause strep throat, pneumonia, skin infections and stomach ulcers.
Clarithromycin is ocassionally used for the treatment of acne symptoms. Topical Clarithromycin is occasionally prescribed as an acne treatment. Oral Clarithromycin is rarely used to treat acne. Other antibiotics in the Macrolide family (eg. Azithromycin, Erythromycin) are more commonly used as acne treatments.
Antibiotic susceptibility testing indicates that Clarithromycin tends to be active against the acne-causing P. acnes bacterium. However, P. acnes bacteria that are highly resistant to Clarithromycin (and other Macrolide family antibiotics) are becoming increasingly common in many regions. Clinical research and patient reports suggest that Clarithromycin (particularly topical Clarithromycin) can significantly improve acne symptoms for some patients. Topical Clarithromycin is often combined with a complementary treatments.
Clarithromycin is widely available as a generic, although this medication can be quite expensive in certain countries (eg. United States).