Properties of azithromycin that enhance the potential for compliance in children with upper respiratory tract infections.Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1996 Sep; 15(9 Suppl):S30-7.PI
Azithromycin, the prototypical azalide antibiotic, has a wide spectrum of activity that is characterized by resistance to beta-lactamase-producing microbes and efficacy against Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, including Haemophilus influenzae. Tissue-directed pharmacokinetics include tissue concentrations up to 100-fold higher than those in plasma and a tissue half-life of up to 4 days. Pharmacokinetics of azithromycin permits a reduction in dosage frequency and duration while maintaining efficacy comparable to that of conventional 7- to 10-day three or four times daily regimens. Dosage interval, duration of treatment, side effects and palatability can affect compliance and thus clinical outcome. Compliance among children is important in light of the high incidence of community-acquired infections such as otitis media and streptococcal pharyngitis.
To compare the flavor, taste acceptability and color preference of oral antibiotic suspensions given to children.
The taste and acceptability of the oral suspension form of azithromycin vs. cefixime, cefpodoxime proxetil, cefprozil, clarithromycin or loracarbef were rated by children during blinded taste tests and with acceptability/ preference questionnaires.
Analysis of the mean acceptability/ preference rating from 769 children demonstrated that the flavor of azithromycin was rated significantly higher than that of cefpodoxime (4.3 vs. 2.8), cefprozil (4.0 vs. 3.4) and clarithromycin (4.3 vs. 2.7) and was comparable to that of cefixime (4.0 vs. 4.2) and loracarbef (4.4 vs. 4.5). A greater percentage of children preferred the taste of azithromycin to that of cefpodoxime (90.0% vs. 5.2%), cefprozil (63.0% vs. 33.1%) and clarithromycin (89.0% vs. 11.0%). The taste of azithromycin was not preferred to that of cefixime (39.0% vs. 53.9%) or loracarbef (36% vs. 58.5%).
The efficacy and safety of azithromycin in otitis media and streptococcal pharyngitis, the simple dosing regimen and a highly palatable oral suspension formulation should increase compliance among pediatric patients and thereby improve clinical outcomes.