Infectious Diseases

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Penicillin V for Treatment of Strep Throat: Using an Old Drug in a New Way

KEY POINT

New information is leading clinicians to experiment with shorter courses and fewer daily doses of penicillin V in the treatment of group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GAHBS) pharyngitis. While such actions may help minimize resistance to this proven stand-by antibiotic, researchers are finding that less is not necessarily best when it comes to treatment regimens. Three ideas are supported by recent research:

  • Penicillin V regimens of 7 days are preferred over those of 3 days.
  • Two daily doses of pencillin V doses are as effective as three or four doses.
  • Once-daily dosing of penicillin V is less effective than two daily doses.

SOURCES

Zwart S et al. Penicillin for acute sore throat: randomised double blind trial of seven days versus three days treatment or placebo in adults. BMJ. 2000;320:150–4.

Lan AJ et al. The impact of dosing frequency on the efficacy of 10-day penicillin or amoxicillin therapy for streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2000;105:e19.