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J Pediatr. 1986 Feb;108(2):299-304.

Rheumatic fever recurrences: controlled study of 3-week versus 4-week benzathine penicillin prevention programs.


To compare the merits of 3-week versus 4-week injections of benzathine penicillin G in preventing recurrence of rheumatic fever, 179 patients aged 4 to 19 years were assigned to one of the two programs. Age, weight, cardiac status, and streptococcal infections among the patients and their family members studied in each program were comparable. Eight-two patients and their family members were monitored for streptococcal infections. Compliance in the two programs was comparable. Of the 63 patients who stayed in the 4-week program, RF recurred in six, as a result of prophylaxis failure in five and associated with partial compliance in one. Of the 90 patients in the 3-week program, RF recurred in one, associated with partial compliance; no failures occurred (P = 0.01). We recommended that for RF chemoprophylaxis in individuals at great risk, regardless of age, benzathine penicillin injections should be administered every 3 rather than every 4 weeks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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