Preschool children who experience repeated episodes of severe lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) often present with symptoms like wheezing and difficulty breathing. A new study looked at whether the use of the common antibiotic, azithromycin, would help prevent progression of the illness, if given early enough in the episode.
Researchers from Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, studied more than 600 children, ranging from ages one to six years old, with a history of repeated episodes of severe respiratory illness. Children were randomly assigned to either receive azithromycin or a placebo early in these episodes.
They found that children in the antibiotic group experienced a lower risk of progressing to severe LRTI than the placebo group.