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Doubts over antibiotic use in acute laryngitis confirmed

A Cochrane review has underlined doubts over use of antibiotics for adults with acute laryngitis.

The gold standard review found very few studies had ever examined the effectiveness of antibiotics in laryngitis, with those that had failing to demonstrate benefits.Reviewers assessed the effectiveness of different antibiotic therapies in adults suffering from acute laryngitis, balancing it with adverse effects reported as a result of treatment.Only two trials met the inclusion criteria, and in neither was there any significant difference between patients given antibiotics and those on placebo.Lead reviewer Dr Ludovic Reveiz, co-ordinator of general practice at the Sanitas Research Institute in Bogota, Colombia, said his data suggested 'antibiotics, [particularly] penicillin V and erythromycin, are of limited use for most adults with acute laryngitis'.Both studies did document subjective improvements in voice disturbance and cough after antibiotic treatment, but Dr Reveiz concluded these outcomes 'may not outweigh the cost, adverse effects or negative consequences on antibiotic resistance patterns'.Professor Paul Little, professor of primary care research at the University of Southampton and a GP in the city, said: 'This confirms what most of us suspected.'

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