Azithromycin versus erythromycin in the treatment of paediatric community-acquired pneumonia

N. Principi, P. Marchisio, G. Biasini, A. Brunelli, G. Caramia, P. Osimani, A. Cascio, G. Cascio, F. Chiodo, G. Manfredi, R. Manfredi, L. Longo, R. Schiavone, F. Severi, G. Marseglia, F. Schettini, F. Amendola, A. Spada, M. Rocca

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A total of 162 patients affected by acute pneumonia were enrolled in a multicentre trial to compare the efficacy of a three-day course of azithromycin (AZM) 10 mg/kg/day once daily with erythromycin (ERM) 50 mg/kg/day two or three times daily for 10 days. One hundred and fifty patients (AZM = 79, ERM = 71) were evaluable. Clinical response at Day 5 ± 2 after baseline control showed a clinical cure rate significantly higher in the AZM-treated group than in the ERM group (2/69 (2.9%) vs. 18/75 (24%), p <0.001). At Day 10 ± 2, the number of cured patients were 75/78 (96%) in the AZM group and 60/67 (90%) in the ERM group. Cure rates at Day 30 ± 2 were 100% and 97% out of a total of 34 and 33 evaluable patients, respectively. Clinical signs and symptoms showed a rapid remission in both groups at Day 5 ± 2, with a more rapid response for malaise, shivering, cough and vomiting in the AZM group. Of the 150 evaluable patients, two AZM-treated patients (2.5%) experienced side effects of vomiting and diarrhoea. The subject with vomiting discontinued the therapy. In the ERM group six patients experienced side effects - mainly gastrointestinal of a mild-to-moderate degree - and among these four discontinued the treatment. Another three patients discontinued the therapy due to lack of efficacy of the drug. The results of this study confirm the effectiveness of a three-day course of AZM in children affected by community-acquired pneumonia and indicate that a faster cure rate may be achieved by this regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Research
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Azithromycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Paediatrics
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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