Role of benzathine penicillin G in prophylaxis for recurrent Streptococcal cellulitis of the lower legs

Jen Hsien Wang, Yung Ching Liu, Deh Lin Cheng, Muh Yong Yen, Yao Shen Chen, Jao Hsien Wang, Shue Ren Wann, Hsi Hsun Lin

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Cellulitis of the lower leg is an infection caused by streptococci or, less commonly, Staphylococcus aureus and other gram-negative rods. Recurrence of cellulitis is a common problem. In the present study, we evaluated the use of monthly intramuscular injections of benzathine penicillin G to prevent recurrences of cellulitis. A total of 115 patients with definite or presumptive cases of streptococcal cellulitis were enrolled in this study. Eighty-four of these patients who declined follow-up or received incomplete prophylaxis were considered controls. Recurrence occurred in four (12.9%) of 31 cases who received prophylaxis and 16 (19%) of the 84 cases who did not receive prophylaxis. The difference was not statistically significant. Predisposing factors for cellulitis were found in 57 (49.6%) of the 115 enrolled cases and were mostly related to the impairment of local circulation. Administration of prophylaxis successfully reduced the recurrence rate to zero among patients without predisposing factors but failed to prevent recurrence in those with predisposing factors (20%). We conclude that monthly benzathine penicillin G prophylaxis benefits only patients without predisposing factors for cellulitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-689
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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