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Children May Not Need Antibiotics for Acute Infective Conjunctivitis

Written by Pathways Magazine   
Thursday, 01 September 2005 00:00

Antibiotics are not necessary for most children with acute infective conjunctivitis, according to the results of a randomized, double-blind trial published in the June 22 Early Online Publication issue of The Lancet.

“We have shown that symptoms resolve without antibiotics in most children with acute infective conjunctivitis,” lead author Peter W. Rose, from the University of Oxford, England, said in a news release. “The health economic argument against antibiotic prescription for acute conjunctivitis is compelling.”

Acute Infective ConjunctivitisThe authors note that each year, one in eight schoolchildren has an episode of acute infective conjunctivitis annually, and that standard clinical practice is to prescribe a topical antibiotic. However, there is little evidence to support this practice.

“Parents should be encouraged to cleanse their children's eyes if an antibiotic is not prescribed,” the authors conclude. “Parents should be encouraged to treat children themselves without medical consultation, unless their child develops unusual symptoms or the symptoms persist for more than a week.”

1 in 8 schoolchildren has an episode of acute infective conjunctivitis annually, and that standard clinical practice is to prescribe a topical antibiotic. However, there is little evidence to support this practice.

Lancet. Posted online June 22, 2005. online.wsj.com



Pathways Issue 7 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #07.

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