Magazine article Drug Topics

Broad-Spectrum Macrolide Okayed for Pediatric Use

Magazine article Drug Topics

Broad-Spectrum Macrolide Okayed for Pediatric Use

Article excerpt

As the problem of antibiotic resistance continues to grow throughout the United States, the need for new antibiotics, ones that can be available for patients of all ages, becomes an increasingly important concern.

Biaxin (clarithromycin) for oral suspension, a second-generation macrolide from Abbott Laboratories, has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration and is indicated for use in pediatric populations.

Clarithromycin is active against Staphlococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, mycoplasma, and Mycobacterium avium complex. Clarithromycin has been available in a tablet formulation for adults since 1990.

In an interview with Drug Topics, W. Manford Gooch, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, discussed the problem of antibiotic resistance and the role the new macrolides will be able to play in the treatment of infectious disease.

For many years, Gooch explained, staphylococcus has been resistant to standard penicillin, and lately it has also grown more resistant to erythromycin.

Pneumococcus, an organism that causes respiratory infections across all age groups, is the most recent organism to emerge as resistant, and the incidence of pneumococcal resistance is also beginning to increase. In Salt Lake : City, where Gooch practices, pneumococcal resistance to the penicillins and to most of the cephalosporins is at about 24%.

As for Haemophilus influenzae, resistance is a major problem with the type , of organism that causes respiratory infections. "In our community, we have 51% resistance to amoxicillin," Gooch said.

According to Gooch, the incidence of Moraxella catarrhalis resistance to amoxicillin is virtually 90% everywhere.

While resistance is a problem with staphylococcus, streptococcus, haemophilus, pneumococcus, and Moraxella catarrhalis, the organisms mycoplasma and chlamydia pose a different problem. …

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