In a recent National Rosacea Society survey of more than 1,022 rosacea sufferers on compliance with medical therapy, 74 percent said their condition worsened if they failed to take their medication as directed by their physicians.
More than half of the respondents said a flare-up eventually occurred if they did not use medication as prescribed, and 28 percent said their symptoms became more severe. Only 4 percent said their symptoms stayed under control without proper use of medical therapy.
Seventy-seven percent of the rosacea sufferers said they use their medication as prescribed, and 13 percent said they did sometimes. Of those using medication as directed, 68 percent said it had reduced their symptoms and an additional 30 percent said it had somewhat reduced their symptoms. Of the 7 percent who said they did not use medication as prescribed, only 32 percent said it had reduced their symptoms and 32 percent said it had reduced their symptoms somewhat.
Some of the reasons cited for not taking medications as prescribed included difficulty in remembering, lethargy, side effects, checking to see if less medication was better, thinking it was not needed because their condition had become stable and using medication only when a flare-up occurred.
Sixty percent of the patients said they were using a topical medication only, and 29 percent were using a combination of topical and oral medications. Only 7 percent reported using an oral antibiotic alone.
When asked how long they had been using their current medical therapy, 74 percent of the patients said they had used it for more than a year, and half of these reported using the same therapy for three years or longer.
Fitzgerald FT. Rosacea: When Flushing or 'Sunburn' May Be Sight-Threatening. Consultant. 1996;36:1399-1404.