Objective: To compare the clinical response to amoxicillin, cefuroxime and clarithromycin in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in children and to see the cost effectiveness of each treatment.
Design: Randomized clinical control trial.
Place and duration of study: Department of Pediatrics, Khyber teaching hospital, Peshawar, from October 2001 to February 2002.
Subjects and methods: Patients between 3 to 72 months of age, admitted in the hospital with community acquired pneumonia, were randomly divided into three groups,1,2,3. They were started on amoxicillin, cefuroxime and clarithromycin respectively. The patients were assessed daily. If there was no clinical improvement at 48 hours the antibiotic was changed. ANOVA statistical test was applied to see the clinical response to the treatment in the three groups. Cost effectiveness of the treatment was compared.
Results: There was no statistical difference in the clinical response at 48 hours of initiating treatment and at discharge (p > 0.01 each). The mean hospital stay in group 1 and 2 was 3.3 days and group 3 was 3.2 days respectively (p > 0.01). Ninety-seven percent patients in group 1 and 3, and 95% patients in group 2 showed clinical improvement. The cost of treatment of community acquired pneumonia for 8 days was Rs 496/-, 730/-, 1018/- for amoxicillin, clarithromycin and cefuroxime respectively.
Conclusion: Amoxicillin was found the most cost effective followed by clarithromycin and cefuroxime respectively in the treatment of non-severe and severe community-acquired pneumonia.