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Children with suspected group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis are encountered daily in outpatient settings. Despite the ubiquity of this condition, important management issues still remain unresolved. This article will review selected epidemiologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic topics germane to clinical practice.
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Using primary cultures of parenchymal hepatocytes as a model system, the cytotoxic potential of dantrolene sodium (DS) was compared with that of erythromycin estolate (EE)--a known hepatotoxin. Parallel morphological and functional comparisons were made, following 4-, 8-, or 24-h exposures of hepatocyte cultures, using phase contrast microscopy and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage, respectively. Four-hour exposures of cultures to rather low concentrations of EE (i.e. 50 microM) resulted in cellular necrosis and significantly elevated LDH release. As the concentration of this hepatotoxin was increased, the changes were more pronounced. However, even 4- or 8-h exposures of cultures to a maximum of 100 microM DS did not affect LDH leakage or morphological integrity, although marginally detectable morphological changes did not occur at the highest concentration after 24-h. The value of using primary parenchymal hepatocyte cultures as a model system for the assessment of xenobiotic-induced hepatotoxicity was confirmed.
The hepatotoxicity of a new erythromycin derivative, erythromycin acistrate (EA, 2'-acetyl erythromycin stearate), was compared with that of erythromycin stearate (ES), erythromycin estolate (EE) and erythromycin-11,12 cyclic carbonate (EC) in 4-5-day, 28-day and 6-month oral toxicity studies in rats and dogs. In the 4-day rat study, EC caused fatty metamorphosis in the liver. ES caused similar, but milder changes at a dose nearly five times higher. The 5-day dog study revealed markedly increased serum alanine aminotransferase (S-ALAT), serum aspartate aminotransferase (S-ASAT), serum alkaline phosphatase (S-APHOS) and serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (S-gamma-GT) values in the EC- and EE-groups, and slightly elevated S-ALAT values also in the EA- and ES-groups. Microscopy revealed cholangitis, pericholangitis and phlebitis in the portal areas in the EC-group at all doses. Epithelial hyperplasia was observed also in the bile ducts. EE caused similar but milder changes. The changes in the EA-group were small, but mildly atypical bile duct epithelium was seen in female dogs receiving 2 x 200 mg/kg of EA. The ES-group was practically without changes and very much like the EA-group. Thus the dog proved to be a more sensitive model for assessing the hepatotoxicity of erythromycin derivatives. In the 28-day studies, only EA and ES were investigated. In the rat study, slightly elevated serum enzyme levels within the normal range were measured in the high-dose regimens of both drugs. In the dog study, 300 mg/kg of EA caused slightly elevated S-ALAT in males, but the values returned to normal after a 2-week off-dose period. Only EA was studied in the 6-month study. In male rats, 400 mg/kg of EA caused slightly elevated enzyme levels and neutral fat droplets in centrilobular hepatocytes. In male dogs given 150 mg/kg of EA, S-ALAT, S-APHOS, and S-gamma-GT values were elevated after four weeks of treatment but returned to normal thereafter. No severe changes were seen in the liver histopathology. In conclusion, EC and EE were clearly hepatotoxic in dogs, and EC also in rats. EA, and to a somewhat lesser extent ES, showed signs of mild hepatotoxicity only at high doses. This evidently reversible effect was considered a common characteristic of erythromycins.
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The pharmacokinetics of erythromycin and erythromycin 2'-propanoate were studied in healthy male volunteers following single and repeated doses of erythromycin stearate tablets, erythromycin estolate capsules, and a suspension. Estolate dosages gave rise to higher plasma levels of total drug than the stearate. However, the stearate yielded higher plasma levels of erythromycin base. Absorption of all dosage forms, except the suspension, was delayed, and pharmacokinetic interpretation of both single- and multiple-dose data required incorporation of an absorption lag time. The absorption of erythromycin stearate was inhibited by food and also by low fluid volumes in fasted subjects. Absorption of erythromycin estolate was increased in the presence of food and was not greatly affected by fluid volume. Although single-dose data poorly predicted circulating levels of erythromycin following repeated doses, trends observed after single doses were maintained during chronic treatment.
There is insufficient evidence to show whether giving antibiotics to women with ureaplasma in the vagina will prevent preterm birth.
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Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. Infants are at highest risk of severe disease and death. Erythromycin for 14 days is currently recommended for treatment and contact prophylaxis, but is of uncertain benefit.
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Pertussis is one of the most communicable diseases of the respiratory tract and the incidence of this disease has increased substantially in recent years. Bordetella pertussis is the major pathogen implicated and erythromycin is considered the drug of choice. Because more studies have reported bacteriological and clinical relapses with ethylsuccinate and stearate formulations than with the estolate preparation, erythromycin estolate 50 mg/kg/d in divided doses over a 14-day period is recommended for the treatment of pertussis. None of the studies, however, have directly compared various forms of erythromycin in these patients to establish superiority of one form over the others. Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible and patients should be followed closely to achieve maximal efficacy and minimize the spread of the disease.
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Certain macrolide antibiotics, such as troleandomycin (TAO), oleandomycin, and erythromycin estolate (Ilosone), can lower the maintenance dose of glucocorticoids required by severely asthmatic patients. These effects were postulated to be caused by an as yet undefined steroid-sparing effect. In this study, TAO in combination with methylprednisolone, when compared with methylprednisolone alone, was demonstrated to significantly increase liver glycogen deposition in adrenalectomized mice, intact mice, and adrenalectomized rats; protect histamine-sensitized mice following beta adrenergic blockade or adrenalectomy; further decrease the steroid-lowered glucose tolerance of mice and significantly increase the plasma corticosteroid levels in rats. TAO alone did not have these effects. TAO plus betamethasone, and erythromycin estolate plus methylprednisolone also increased liver glycogen deposition. However, TAO did not appear to potentiate the effects of hydrocortisone. Erythromycin stearate and to a lesser degree erythromycin ethylsuccinate when combined with methylprednisolone also decreased histamine lethality in mice. Leucomycin and tetracycline did not enhance the effects of methylprednisolone. TAO, alone or with methylprednisolone, did not alter serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) levels in rats. Thus, TAO and some other macrolides did not exert their effects on corticosteroids as antimicrobial agents, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)--like compounds, or quasisteroids, but as steroid-sparing agents by some undefined mechanism.
Cytotoxicity of erythromycin base, erythromycin estolate, erythromycin-11,12-cyclic carbonate, roxithromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycin was compared in cultured human non-malignant Chang liver cells using reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide and cellular protein concentration as end points of toxicity. Erythromycin estolate was the most toxic macrolide in all tests differing clearly from all the other macrolides studied. Erythromycin-11,12-cyclic carbonate was also more toxic than the other macrolides. Roxithromycin and clarithromycin were the next toxic derivatives, while erythromycin base and azithromycin were least toxic. Thus, cytotoxicity of the new semisynthetic macrolides, roxithromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycin, is not substantially different from that of erythromycin base. In view of the low level of hepatotoxicity of macrolides hitherto reported in humans, the results do not suggest any substantial risk for hepatic disorders related to the use of azithromycin, clarithromycin and roxithromycin.
To determine the etiology of community-acquired pneumonia in ambulatory children and to compare responses to treatment with azithromycin, amoxicillin-clavulanate or erythromycin estolate.
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The effect of acute and chronic endotoxin (LPS) treatment on the erythromycin estolate (EE) induced cholestasis, was studied using the isolated perfused rat liver. Addition of EE markedly reduced bile and perfusate flows in livers from control rats but did not alter these parameters in livers from endotoxin pretreated rats or in vitro treated with LPS. We suggest that changes in membrane organization induced by LPS may alter the diplay of EE toxicity.
In a 6-volunteer cross-over study the pharmacokinetics of 3 erythromycin preparations were compared. A single oral dose of 500 mg of each preparation was administered at each occasion and the levels measured in timed samples of plasma and saliva. Markedly higher blood concentrations of the estolate and propionate were obtained compared to the stearate. Comparison of serum and plasma concentration of the drugs from each split sample showed no significant differences. Plasma concentrations always exceeded those in saliva but for any one preparation a similar ratio was obtained at different times. This may be useful to ascertain compliance and to measure concentration of the compounds where direct measurement in plasma is not practicable.
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The GETt1/2 decreased from 198.0 +/- 58.9 minutes at baseline to 139.1 +/- 67.6 minutes following one day of erythromycin therapy (p < 0.01), and to 137.1 +/- 71.2 minutes after two weeks of treatment (vs. baseline p < 0.01). The FBS decreased from 159.0 +/- 40.2 mg/dl at baseline to 149.0 +/- 38.5 mg/dl following one day of therapy (p = 0.12, NS), and to 139.2 +/- 39.8 mg/dl after two weeks of treatment (vs. baseline p < 0.02).
Primary cultures of rat hepatocytes were exposed to several concentrations of erythromycin estolate (EE). Hepatotoxicity was evaluated using lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage and morphometric analysis of representative populations of cells examined optically. Results of the two techniques provided parallel information: cells exposed to the higher concentrations of EE had significantly greater LDH release and higher percentages of morphologically damaged cells. Planimetric analysis of a second set of hepatocytes showed increasing swelling of cells with increasing concentration of EE. Severe cellular swelling preceded disintegration, as hepatocytes became progressively more damaged by EE.
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Erythromycin is frequently prescribed in Germany for acute otitis media, but well-designed clinical trials under present epidemiological conditions are lacking. Therefore, a double-blind, randomized, multicenter trial was performed to compare the clinical efficacy and safety of erythromycin estolate versus amoxicillin in children with acute otitis media and to identify the risk factors associated with clinical failure. Investigators from 19 centers throughout Germany recruited 302 children with clinical, otoscopic, and tympanometric evidence of acute otitis media. In a double-blind fashion, patients were allocated randomly to a 10-day course of erythromycin estolate at 40 mg/kg/day in two divided doses or amoxicillin at 50 mg/kg/day in two divided doses. Clinical examinations, otoscopy, and tympanometry were performed at baseline, day 3-5, day 9-11, and at 5 weeks. Clinical outcome was assessed on day 9-11. Two-hundred eighty children were evaluable for efficacy (erythromycin group, 141; amoxicillin group, 139). Both groups were comparable with respect to demographic data and severity of disease at entry. Treatment was successful in 94% of the erythromycin-treated patients and in 96% of the amoxicillin-treated patients. Clinical outcome was statistically equivalent between groups within a range of 7 percentage points. Clinical recurrence was seen in eight erythromycin-treated children (5.7%) and in seven amoxicillin-treated children (5.0%) (P=0.81). Patients with bilateral disease at entry were at higher risk of unfavourable outcome, whereas age and presence/absence of otorrhea at entry were not associated with outcome. Treatment-related adverse events were recorded in eight (5.3%) of 151 erythromycin-treated patients and in 11 (7.3%) of 151 amoxicillin-treated patients. In this study in an outpatient setting in Germany, erythromycin estolate was as safe and effective as amoxicillin in the treatment of acute otitis media. Both drugs can be administered in a convenient twice-daily dosage schedule.
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Thirteen trials with 2197 participants met the inclusion criteria: 11 trials investigated treatment regimens; 2 investigated prophylaxis regimens. The quality of the trials was variable.Short-term antibiotics (azithromycin for three to five days, or clarithromycin or erythromycin for seven days) were as effective as long-term (erythromycin for 10 to 14 days) in eradicating Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis) from the nasopharynx (relative risk (RR) 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98 to 1.05), but had fewer side effects (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.83). Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for seven days was also effective. Nor were there differences in clinical outcomes or microbiological relapse between short and long-term antibiotics. Contact prophylaxis of contacts older than six months of age with antibiotics did not significantly improve clinical symptoms or the number of cases developing culture-positive B. pertussis.
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To determine the importance of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) of children from different latitudes and to compare clinical outcome using azithromycin (AZM) versus either amoxicillin-clavulanate (A-C) or erythromycin estolate (EE).
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Primary cultures of rat hepatocytes were used to study the effects of the flavonoids diosmin and its main metabolite diosmetin on the cell membrane damage caused by erythromycin estolate (EE) and oxidative stress caused by tert-butylhydroperoxide (TBHP). The damage was evaluated by the leakage of intracellular enzymes lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate-aminotransferase and the residual cell content of a lysosomal marker acid phosphatase (AP). After treating the cells for 40 h with diosmetin EE induced less enzyme leakage. The content of AP was kept higher by diosmetin pretreatment after 6 h exposure to EE. Diosmin at the same concentrations had barely any effect. Diosmetin, but not diosmin, also protected against TBHP toxicity and this was related to lower lipid peroxidation and higher glutathione content caused by pretreatment with the flavonoid. When the cells were treated simultaneously with TBHP and diosmetin after 21 h of culture, the protection by the flavonoid was even higher. In fact the antioxidant activity of diosmetin was considerably greater than that of diosmin. After 40 h exposure to both flavonoids diosmin but not diosmetin was detectable in the cell membrane fraction, suggesting that the latter's protective effect is associated with its metabolites.
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The activities of 11 5-nitroimidazole compounds have been compared against Giardia intestinalis in vitro using a 3H-thymidine incorporation assay. All the compounds were at least equipotent to, or more active than metronidazole with the exception of panidazole. Satranidazole, ronidazole and S75 0400 A were all about five times more active than metronidazole and warrant further study as potential chemotherapeutic agents for man. No major differences in the response to these compounds was found between two stocks of Giard. intestinalis with the exception of flunidazole. Several other antiprotozoal drugs showed activity against Giard. intestinalis. Berberine sulphate, paromomycin sulphate, erythromycin estolate and sulphasalazine, all of which have been used to treat human patients, showed no activity in vitro.
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A high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of erythromycin and its esters in plasma, urine and saliva is presented. A diethyl ether extract of sample was chromatographed on a reversed-phase column and components of the column effluent were monitored by electrochemical detection at +0.9 V (vs. Ag/AgCl). The method sensitivity limit was 10 ng with inter-day coefficients of variation from 3.2 to 10.3%. In order to assess precisely the relative concentrations of erythromycin esters (ethylsuccinate or estolate) and their active by-product erythromycin base, it is necessary to adopt measures preventing their continuous hydrolysis in biological fluids and during sample preparation.
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Although antibiotics were effective in eliminating B. pertussis, they did not alter the subsequent clinical course of the illness. There is insufficient evidence to determine the benefit of prophylactic treatment of pertussis contacts.
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A randomized double-blind trial of 152 men with gonococcal urethritis compared the therapeutic efficacy of erythromycin estolate and erythromycin base. Twenty-one of 86 (24%) men treated with the estolate and 15 of 66 (23%) treated with the base had recurrent or persistent gonococcal infection when seen after a 9-g course of erythromycin. The serum erythromycin activity among estolate-treated patients (3.57 +/- 0.84 microgram/ml) was nearly twice that for base-treated patients (1.76 +/- 0.80 microgram/ml). Our findings do not support routine use of erythromycin for treatment of pregnant, penicillin-allergic patients.
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We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group trials register (April 2003).
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In this large, multicenter, randomized trial, we found that azithromycin is as effective as erythromycin estolate for the treatment of pertussis in children. Gastrointestinal adverse events were much more common with erythromycin treatment than azithromycin. Compliance with therapy was markedly better with azithromycin than with erythromycin in this study.
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To compare the safety and efficacy of azithromycin with amoxicillin/clavulanate or erythromycin for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia, including atypical pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae.
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Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. Infants are the population at highest risk of severe disease and death. Erythromycin for 14 days is recommended for treatment and contact prophylaxis but this regime is considered inconvenient and prolonged. The value of contact prophylaxis is uncertain.
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To investigate the mechanisms of erythromycin cholestasis, the effects of erythromycin estolate (EE) on the excretory function of the isolated perfused rat liver and on liver plasma membrane (LM) preparations were studied and compared to those of erythromycin base (EB) and lauryl sulfate (LS), added alone or in combination. EE (at 125 to 200 microM) caused dose-dependent reductions of bile and perfusate flows, bile acid (BA) excretion, and biliary BA concentration. The alterations of the excretory function were only in part due to the decreased perfusate flow. In contrast, both 200 and 300 microM concentrations of EB elicited similar choleretic responses, which were presumably related to the osmotic activity of the drug excreted in the bile. LS did not affect hepatic excretory functions. However, the simultaneous addition of EB and LS resulted in a rate of bile flow lower than that observed with EB alone. EE, but not EB, increased canalicular permeability to [14C]sucrose as measured by bile to plasma (B:P) ratio. Neither drugs altered [14C]erythritol B:P ratio. In LM preparations both Na+,K+- and Mg2+-ATPase activities were inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by EE, but not by EB. The data suggest that EE could affect bile flow by inhibiting cotransport of Na+ and BA and by altering LM permeability and support the view that the effect of erythromycins on the liver may be related to their surface activity.
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A method is described for the determination of erythromycin estolate by liquid chromatography. A C18 reversed-phase column (25 x 0.46 cm i.d.) was used with acetonitrile-tetrabutylammonium sulphate (pH 6.5, 0.2 M)-phosphate buffer (pH 6.5, 0.2 M)-water [x:5:5:(90-x), v/v/v/v] as mobile phase. The proportion of acetonitrile (x) has to be adapted to the type of stationary phase used. For RSil C18 LL 42.5% (v/v) was used. The column was heated at 35 degrees C, the flow rate was 1.5 ml min-1 and UV detection was performed at 215 nm. The main component, erythromycin A propionate, was separated from all other components which were present in commercial samples. The impurities most frequently observed were the propionate ester of erythromycin C and the amide N-propionyl-N-demethyl-erythromycin A. Erythromycin A was shown to be present in specialties.
The data from this study strongly suggest that children with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis should complete a full 24 hours of antibiotics before returning to school or daycare.