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Drugs

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 779–790 | Cite as

Practical Considerations When Treating Children with Antimicrobials in the Outpatient Setting

Disease Management

Summary

Over the past decade new antimicrobial agents have been introduced used to treat common paediatric infectious diseases such as acute otitis media and sinusitis. These agents vary with respect to their mechanism of action, dosage and duration of therapy, cost, taste and type of adverse effects. More recently, there has been concern about the overuse of antibiotics and increasing bacterial resistance, particularly Streptococcus pneumoniae, to these agents.

Dosage and duration of therapy, cost, taste, and adverse effects play important roles in determining success or failure of antimicrobial medications in paediatric patients. Use of potential alternatives and adjuncts to antimicrobial treatment, such as vaccination, control of environmental risk factors, surgical techniques and alternative medical therapies may also be employed, and the practitioner must ascertain if their paediatric patients are being treated by any of these methods. Rather than listing the therapeutic challenges for all common outpatient paediatric infectious diseases, acute otitis media (accounting for over 50% of the antimicrobial prescriptions dispensed in childhood) is used to illustrate each issue.

Clinicians are faced with a growing number of possible antimicrobial choices; concomitantly, there is increasing concern that these agents are overused. When prescribing antimicrobial agents, we need to be familiar with what we can do to optimise the care we provide. By avoiding inappropriate or trivial use of antimicrobials, we can preserve and even strengthen our armamentarium against disease. Simple strategies can improve compliance with therapeutic regimens and improve parental satisfaction.

Keywords

Adis International Limited Otitis Medium Acute Otitis Medium Cefixime Cefpodoxime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Paediatrics, Boston Medical Center/Maternity 415Boston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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