Antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia in children

Added April 2, 2020

Citation: Lodha R, Kabra SK, Pandey RM. Antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013; (6): CD004874

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will develop pneumonia, which can become a serious and life-threatening illness. Antibiotics might be used in the management of children who develop it.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized trials comparing different antibiotics for the treatment of children with community-acquired pneumonia in or out of hospital. They did their search in November 2012. They included 29 studies (14,188 children).

What works: Oral amoxicillin is an alternative to co-trimoxazole for treating children younger than five years of age with non-severe pneumonia outside hospital.

Children aged under five years with severe pneumonia without hypoxaemia who are accepting oral feeds can be managed with oral amoxycillin outside hospital.

For severe or very severe pneumonia in children who are in hospital, penicillin/ampicillin plus gentamycin was more effective than chloramphenicol.

What doesn’t work: Chloramphenicol was associated with higher death rates compared with ampicillin and gentamycin in very severe pneumonia in children.

What’s uncertain: The effects of co‐amoxyclavulanic acid, ceftriaxone, levofloxacin and cefuroxime as first line treatments for the treatment of children with pneumonia are uncertain.


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