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SILVER SPRING, Md. - Anti-bacterial soaps and body washes in the household aren't any more effective in reducing illness than regular soap, and could potentially contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, experts told a government advisory panel Thursday.
The independent panel, the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, advises the Food and Drug Administration. Panelists were to vote later Thursday whether they believed such soaps provided any benefits above regular soap for people outside of health care.
The FDA is not bound by their decisions but often follows their advice. The agency has the authority to add warning labels to or restrict the availability of such soaps and related items, but it has given no indication any such ruling is imminent.
Does it work?
Both kinds of soaps reduced infections in households, but neither one worked better than the other, experts told the panel.
The experts also wondered whether antibacterials may provide added benefit to some people who are particularly at risk for certain illnesses.
FDA officials and panelists raised concerns about whether the antibacterials contribute to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria...
He acknowledged that a yearlong study showed that homes using antibacterial soaps did not show an increase in resistant bacteria in significant numbers