Telithromycin (Ketek) is an antibiotic in the Macrolide family. It is primarily used to treat certain types of bacterial respiratory infections.
Telithromycin is rarely used as a treatment for acne symptoms. There have been some safety concerns about the effect that this antibiotic has on the liver. The use of this medication in the United States was curtailed in 2007, and it is not widely used and may not be available in all countries.
Telithromycin may be useful in the treatment of acne, but there is little clinical research about this application. Laboratory testing indicates that acne-causing Propionibacterium acnes bacteria tend to be susceptible to Macrolide family antibiotics, which includes Telithromycin. At least one study has reported that Telithromycin is substantially more toxic to P. acnes bacteria than other Macrolides that are commonly used for the treatment of acne (eg. Erythromycin, Azithromycin).
P. acnes bacteria that are resistant to Macrolide family antibiotics are becoming increasingly common in many places around the world. However, many of these antibiotic-resistant P. acnes bacteria may still be susceptible to Telithromycin because of its unique molecular features.
Telithromycin is an antibiotic that warrants further study into its utility as a treatment of acne vulgaris.