17 Nov Early Antibiotics May Benefit Children With History Of Severe Respiratory Illness
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leonard B. Bacharier, MD
Professor of pediatrics
Clinical Director, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine
St Louis School of Medicine
St Louis, Missouri
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Bacharier: Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone have become the standard of care for children whose colds tend to progress and lead to severe wheezing and difficulty breathing.
“But there are some studies that suggest these treatments don’t consistently work for young children. That’s why we want to find ways to prevent upper respiratory infections from progressing to lower respiratory tract illnesses. Once the episode gets going, standard interventions are less effective than would be desired”, reported Dr. Bacharier.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Bacharier: In young children who have histories of severe wheezing illnesses during respiratory tract infections, starting azithromycin at the earliest signs of illness reduces the risk of a severe episode as well as the overall severity of the episodes. Development of antibiotic-resistant organisms did occur but was infrequent.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Bacharier: This large study was the first to demonstrate this beneficial effect. However, given the widespread interest in prudent use of antibiotics, additional research is encouraged to confirm these findings and further define the potential downsides of this therapy, including the development of germs with resistance to antibiotics.
Bacharier LB, Guilbert TW, Mauger DT, et al. Early Administration of Azithromycin and Prevention of Severe Lower Respiratory Tract Illnesses in Preschool Children With a History of Such Illnesses: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2015;314(19):2034-2044. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13896.
Leonard B. Bacharier, MD (2015). Early Antibiotics May Benefit Children With History Of Severe Respiratory Illness