Which medications in the drug class Macrolides are used in the treatment of Diphtheria?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

Macrolides

Erythromycin and penicillin are both recommended for the treatment of diphtheria. Some studies suggest that erythromycin may be better at eradication of the carrier state. Penicillin is recommended in household contacts who may not comply with the duration of erythromycin treatment. An increased incidence of pyloric stenosis is associated with administration of erythromycin to infants younger than 6 months. It is believed that azithromycin may be a better macrolide treatment in this population, though there are a few case reports describing pyloric stenosis in infants treated with azithromycin for pertussis infections.

The treatment of endocarditis requires the addition of an aminoglycoside.

Erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab)

Inhibits bacterial growth, possibly by blocking dissociation of peptidyl tRNA from ribosomes causing RNA-dependent protein synthesis to arrest. For treatment of staphylococcal and streptococcal infections.

Age, weight, and severity of infection determine proper dosage in children. When bid dosing is desired, one half the total daily dose may be taken q12h. Double the dose for more severe infections.

Has the added advantage of being a good anti-inflammatory agent by inhibiting migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes.


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