Short Antibiotic Courses Safer for Breathing-Tube Infections in Children
Posted May 05 2011 5:44pm
Short courses of antibiotics appear just as effective as longer ones — and a great deal safer — in treating respiratory infections that might cause pneumonia in children on temporary breathing devices, according to a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study published online May 3 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
In the study’s analysis of 150 children treated with antibiotics for respiratory infections while on a ventilator, longer antibiotic courses did not only fail to confer extra protection against full-blown pneumonia when compared with shorter therapy, but also considerably increased a child’s risk for developing drug-resistant infections within a month.
To rein in the spread of bacterial drug resistance, the researchers advise clinicians to carefully evaluate the need for antibiotics in the first place and to use antibiotics for the shortest time needed to achieve clinical effect.