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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1993 Mar;102(3 Pt 1):209-14.

Erythromycin in acute laryngitis in adults.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Abstract

Moraxella catarrhalis and Hemophilus influenzae are isolated from the nasopharynx in 50% to 55% and 8% to 15%, respectively, of cases of acute laryngitis in adults. This finding indicates that these organisms, M catarrhalis in particular, are in some way involved in the pathogenesis of the disorder. In the present double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the effect of erythromycin ethylsuccinate (0.5 g twice a day for 5 days) on the elimination of nasopharyngeal pathogens and reduction of clinical signs of upper respiratory tract infection, as well as on subjective complaints, was evaluated in 106 adults with acute laryngitis. The bacterial isolation rates at presentation were M catarrhalis 50%, H influenzae 18%, and Streptococcus pneumoniae 4%. In the 99 patients who completed the study, the elimination of M catarrhalis after 1 week was better in the erythromycin group (25 of 30 cases) than in the placebo group (6 of 19 cases; p < or = .00038). The elimination of H influenzae was unaffected by erythromycin. Otolaryngologic examination did not reveal any significant group differences regarding laryngitis, pharyngitis, or rhinitis. Voice quality was improved after 1 week, irrespective of treatment. However, as compared to the placebo group, the erythromycin group reported fewer voice complaints after 1 week and fewer coughing complaints after 2 weeks. As acute laryngitis in adults is self-limiting, and subjective symptoms are spontaneously reduced after 1 week in most cases, antibiotic treatment does not seem warranted as a general policy. However, erythromycin may be justified in patients who are professionally dependent on voice function.

PMID:
8457123
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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