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Open Nurs J. 2008;2:48-57. doi: 10.2174/1874434600802010048. Epub 2008 May 22.

Antibiotics and allergic disorders in childhood.

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School of Health Science, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK.



This paper explores the possible association between antibiotics prescribed in infancy and allergic disorders, mainly eczema and asthma, in childhood.


No-one fully understands why childhood asthma and eczema have become so common. Some authorities suggest that there may be an association between eczema and asthma and antibiotics prescribed in childhood; however, others disagree. METHOD/EVALUATION: The available literature was reviewed to examine the links between prescribed antibiotics and childhood eczema and asthma. FINDINGS/KEY ISSUE: Some, but not all, research indicates that antibiotic administration in pregnancy, childbirth or infancy may be linked to childhood asthma and eczema, but much uncertainty remains. None of the papers identified stated the doses of antibiotics prescribed. In addition, we were unable to locate studies reporting the interactions between antibiotics and the developing immune system.


Health care professionals should be selective when prescribing antibiotics. Further prospective work is needed to guide the prescribing of antibiotics in childbirth and infancy.


Allergic disorders; adverse drug reactions; antibiotics; evidence based practice.; prescribing

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