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Penicillin, amoxicillin: Step aside for strep throat treatment

icillin. This week they presented results of a meta-analysis of 47 studies from the past 35 years that had looked at the effectiveness of various drugs on treating strep in children. They found that four or five days of the newest cephalosporins were more effective than any other drug, failing at half the rate of older cephalosporins and less than a third the rate of penicillin.

The new findings are crucial not only for the children treated, but for their friends. Pichichero said children and parents are much more likely to adhere to taking all the prescribed medication in four or five days rather than 10 days. He noted that other studies have found that anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of parents make the mistake of discontinuing antibiotic medication for their children prematurely, or giving them leftover medication later on. Sometimes it's just a misinformed attempt to give children less medication, but more often parents believe the drugs are no longer needed since the children are feeling better, despite the medication label that urges parents to make sure the child finishes all the medications.

The good intentions directly lead to children becoming sick on and off for weeks or months, as the strep germ isn't quite killed off but instead lingers in the child's body. The children also become vulnerable to much more severe infections that will demand the use of even stronger drugs later on. All the while, the still-contagious child is exposing his or her friends to strep.


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Source:University of Rochester Medical Center


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