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The evidence base for cephalosporin superiority over penicillin in streptococcal pharyngitis.

Author(s): Casey JR, Pichichero ME

Affiliation(s): Elmwood Pediatric Group, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. jrcasey@rochester.rr.com

Publication date & source: 2007-03, Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis., 57(3 Suppl):39S-45S. Epub 2007 Feb 9.

Publication type: Review

Current treatment guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend only oral penicillin V or intramuscular benzathine penicillin G as the drugs of choice for treatment of group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) pharyngitis. Ten-day treatment courses with 1st-generation oral cephalosporins or erythromycin are recommended as suitable alternatives in patients who are allergic to penicillin. Despite these recommendations, oral cephalosporins are used as drugs of choice for many patients with GABHS pharyngitis. Simpler and/or short-course regimens of cephalosporins that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration offer alternatives with the potential for unchanged patient compliance. Increasing cephalosporin use in patients with GABHS pharyngitis has followed from numerous reports and metaanalyses of cephalosporin superiority over penicillin for bacteriologic eradication and clinical response. This review examines the evidence supporting the use of cephalosporins as a first choice of treatment for many patients with GABHS pharyngitis.

Page last updated: 2007-10-18

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