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Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
3. Prevention and Treatment

Use of Antibiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Pertussis

von König, Carl-Heinz Wirsing MD

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Antibiotics are commonly used for treating confirmed cases of pertussis and also for disease prevention in outbreak situations, and there is little evidence of antibiotic resistance of Bordetella pertussis. The most commonly used antibiotic is erythromycin, but the associated side effects limit compliance and therefore efficacy. Other antibiotics, such as clarithromycin and azithromycin, have been shown to be at least as effective as erythromycin in preventing and treating pertussis, and they also have fewer side effects, which improves compliance. This article outlines the use of different antibiotics in pertussis management and their effect on preventing disease transmission and reducing disease severity and duration.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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