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Pediatric Post-Tonsillectomy Antibiotic Courses Compared

Three- and seven-day courses equally effective for resumption of normal diet and activity

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric tonsillectomy patients who received three days of postoperative antibiotics needed no more pain medication and resumed normal activity as soon as patients who received a seven-day course, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Paul E. Johnson, M.D., of New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues randomized 49 pediatric patients who had tonsillectomy to receive either a seven-day course of amoxicillin or a three-day course of amoxicillin and placebo for the additional four days.

The researchers observed no statistically significant difference between the groups in postoperative pain or length of time to resumption of their regular diet and level of activity. The incidence of diarrhea was rare and was equal for the two groups.

"Based on our results, a three-day course of antibiotics is as effective as a seven-day course. A shorter course of antibiotics carries other potential advantages, including decreased cost, increased patient compliance with medications, and a decrease in antibiotic-associated complications and bacterial resistance," the authors write.

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