Friday, January 22, 2016

Wheezing and antibiotics. Is it connected?

Children of pre school age who develop wheezing during viral respiratory illness are often diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease and receive treatment with medications, usually inhaled to reduce inflammation and to decrease narrowing of the airways. Some parents demand antibiotics to treat viral illnesses of their children, thinking that it may shorten duration of the illness or prevent complications and pediatricians sometimes comply, usually prescribing amoxicillin or something similar, just to keep parents happy.
It has been suggested several years ago that wheezing in some young children may in fact be associated with a specific bacteria. However, it was not clear what pediatricians should do about it.  Now pediatricians may have some clues. A small study published in December 2015 demonstrated dramatic decrease of the duration of wheezing episode in small children treated with antibiotic azythromycin.  

It is important to keep in mind that while both, azithromycin and amoxicillin are antibiotics, their chemical structure and effect on bacteria and human body are very different, meaning that using any antibiotic to treat wheeze may do more harm then help.