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Prescribing topical medicines for skin infection

Resistance to fusidic acid is increasing because this topical medicine is being overused in New Zealand. This prescribing snippet will provide monthly updates over the next six months for topical medicines indicated for skin infections.

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Time period 1 August, 2016 - 31 March, 2017

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Your comparator is the average prescribing rate of ten GPs whose patient populations are similar to yours in: gender, age and ethnicity

How does your fusidic acid prescribing compare to other GPs?

All general practitioners in New Zealand have been assigned to one of four groups depending on the proportion of the patients they have prescribed for that were dispensed fusidic acid between 1 January, 2017 - 31 March, 2017. Quartile one contains the 25% of general practitioners who prescribed the least fusidic acid and Quartile four the 25% of general practitioners who prescribed the most fusidic acid.

The "Where are you placed?" box shows which quartile your prescribing corresponds to. For example, if you have prescribed a medicine for 250 patients and 2 (0.8%) of them were dispensed fusidic acid in this time period you would be in Quartile two.


National prescribing rates

Quartile one
< 25%
Quartile two
25% to 50%
Quartile three
50% to 75%
Quartile four
> 75%
0 - 0.4%0.5 - 1.0%1.1 - 1.9%2.0 - 46.4%

Where are you placed?

You have prescribed fusidic acid for patients.

You are in with of your population being prescribed fusidic acid.

National prescribing data for topical medicines


What prescribers need to know

  • Fusidic acid should NOT be used as a first-line treatment for skin infections, wound management, infected eczema or impetigo
  • Good hygiene measures and topical antiseptics such as hydrogen peroxide or povidone iodine should be used for minor skin infections
  • If antibiotics are required for skin infections, oral antibiotics are preferred
  • Topical antibiotics should be prescribed for short courses only, e.g. five to seven days, to minimise the development of resistance

Educational resources are available from:
Topical antibiotics for skin infections - should they be prescribed at all? | when are they appropriate?

Published: 27 February 2017 | Updated: 20 April 2017

Stephen Hoskin 22/03/2017 7:40:14 p.m.
Elizabeth Walters 22/03/2017 5:26:31 p.m.
Branko Sijnja 22/03/2017 1:33:52 p.m.
Marta Kroo 1/03/2017 7:57:53 a.m.

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