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Arch Dis Child. Feb 2002; 86(2): 113–118.
PMCID: PMC1761064

Clinical efficacy of co-trimoxazole versus amoxicillin twice daily for treatment of pneumonia: a randomised controlled clinical trial in Pakistan


Aims: To compare the clinical efficacy of twice daily oral co-trimoxazole with twice daily oral amoxicillin for treatment of childhood pneumonia.

Methods: Randomised controlled, double blind, multicentre study in outpatient departments of seven hospitals and in one community health service. A total of 1471 children (aged 2–59 months) with non-severe pneumonia were randomly assigned to 25 mg/kg amoxicillin (n = 730) or 4 mg/kg trimethoprim plus 20 mg/kg sulphamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole) (n = 741). Both medicines were given orally twice daily for five days.

Results: Data from 1459 children were analysed: 725 were randomised to amoxicillin and 734 to co-trimoxazole. Treatment failure in the amoxicillin group was 16.1% compared to 18.9% in the co-trimoxazole group. Multivariate analysis showed that treatment failure was more likely in infants who had history of difficult breathing or those who had been ill for more than three days before presentation.

Conclusions: Both amoxicillin and co-trimoxazole were equally effective in non-severe pneumonia. Good follow up of patients is essential to prevent worsening of illness.

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Selected References

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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
Trial profile. *These patients did not fulfil enrolment criteria.
Figure 2
Details of patients needing a change in antibiotic therapy (n = 219). *One study bottle was broken and medicine was changed to chloramphenicol; †4 were non-compliant and 2 looked clinically well; ‡3 looked sick clinically, 1 developed ...

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