Penicillin keeps leg cellulitis at bay

Prophylactic penicillin almost halves the risk of recurrent leg cellulitis, research shows.

A UK study of patients with recurrent leg cellulitis found a 12-month course of low-dose penicillin reduced their risk of another episode by 45% — the equivalent of treating five people to prevent one recurrence.

During treatment, recurrence of cellulitis occurred in 22% of individuals assigned to penicillin and 37% of the placebo group.

But the protective effect gradually disappeared when the antibiotic was stopped,