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Clin Ther. 2001 Nov;23(11):1889-900.

Open-Label, parallel-group, multicenter, randomized study of cefprozil versus erythromycin in children with group A streptococcal pharyngitis/tonsillitis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20016, USA.



Cefprozil and erythromycin are acceptable alternatives to penicillin in the treatment of pharyngitis/tonsillitis due to group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS).


The purpose of this trial was to determine the relative efficacy and tolerability of cefprozil and erythromycin in the treatment of pediatric pharyngitis/tonsillitis due to GABHS.


This trial compared the bacteriologic and clinical efficacy of erythromycin and cefprozil in children 2 to 12 years of age with culture-documented GABHS pharyngitis/ tonsillitis. Children who were allergic to penicillin, cefprozil, or erythromycin were excluded. Patients were prospectively randomly assigned to receive 10 days of oral therapy with either cefprozil suspension 15 mg/kg per day in 2 divided doses or erythromycin ethylsuccinate suspension 30 mg/kg per day in 3 divided doses. Primary efficacy end points were bacteriologic and clinical response 2 to 8 days after treatment ended. The frequency and severity of adverse events and their relationship to treatment were also assessed.


A total of 199 patients were enrolled and treated (cefprozil, 99; erythromycin, 100); 12 patients in the cefprozil group and 15 in the erythromycin group were not evaluable. The GABHS eradication rate was significantly higher with cefprozil (95%) than with erythromycin (74%) (P = 0.001). The posttreatment carrier rate was lower in the cefprozil group (5%) than in the erythromycin group (18%) (95% CI, -22.3 to -3.8). Clinical cure rate was 90% (78/87) with cefprozil and 91% (77/85) with erythromycin (P = 0.95) (treatment group difference, -0.93; 95% CI, -9.9% to 8.0%). The overall incidence of drug-related adverse events was not significantly different in the 2 groups (11% with cef- prozil, 18% with erythromycin). The most common adverse events were diarrhea and vomiting. Two patients in the erythromycin group discontinued therapy because of adverse events.


The bacteriologic eradication rate was significantly greater with cefprozil compared with erythromycin in children with pharyngitis/tonsillitis. Both cefprozil and erythromycin produced a clinical cure in >90% of patients.

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