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Int J Clin Pract. 2000 Oct;54(8):504-8.

Can prophylactic oral erythromycin reduce time to full enteral feeds in preterm neonates?

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Department of Neonatology, Kirwan Hospital for Women, Queensland, Australia.


Efficacy of oral, prophylactic erythromycin in reducing the time to establish full enteral feeds (150 ml/kg/day) was assessed in neonates < 32 weeks, ready for enteral feeds. Seventy-three consecutive neonates were randomised to receive oral erythromycin ethyl succinate (n = 36) or placebo (n = 37) in a double-blind trial until full enteral feeds or 14 days of therapy were reached. A prospectively designed feeding regimen, including plan of action for signs of feed intolerance, was common for all enrolled neonates. The median gestational age, birth weight and postnatal age at start of feeds were 29 versus 30 weeks (p = 0.40), 1232 versus 1280 g (p = 0.96) and 5 versus 5 days (p = 0.84) for erythromycin and placebo group, respectively. Time to achieve full feeds was not significantly different in the two groups. (median times: erythromycin 93.5 versus placebo 104 hours, p = 0.60). Erythromycin-related side-effects did not occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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