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Amoxicillin provides ‘little benefit’ for most LRTIs, study confirms

Amoxicillin provides no benefit in patients with uncomplicated lower respiratory tract infections, an analysis of the latest trial evidence has confirmed.

UK researchers looked at data from primary care practices across Europe and found that patients on amoxicillin were only 6% more likely to experience resolution of symptoms they had rated as ‘moderately bad’, at seven days, compared with patients on placebo.

Patients older than 60 years on amoxicillin were 5% less likely to experience resolution of symptoms, compared with those on placebo, while those younger than 60 years were 12% more likely compared with placebo – both interactions were not significant.

The study randomised 2,061 patients aged 18 years or over to receive either amoxicillin or placebo three times daily for seven days. They presented for the first time to their primary care practice with an acute cough as their main symptom, and were asked to rate their symptoms on a six-point scale, with three representing ‘moderately bad’.

The authors concluded: ‘Amoxicillin provides little symptomatic benefit for patients presenting in primary care who are judged to have clinically uncomplicated lower respiratory tract infections.’

Lancet 2012, available online 19 December



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