HealthDay News — Narrow-spectrum antibiotics, which are recommended as first-line therapy for children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), show similar outcomes compared with broad-spectrum antibiotics, according to study findings.

Mary Ann Queen, MD, of the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from a cohort of children, aged 2 months to 18 years, to compare the effectiveness of empiric treatment with narrow-spectrum versus broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy for uncomplicated CAP. The results were published in Pediatrics.

Among 492 children hospitalized with CAP, 52% received empirical treatment with a narrow-spectrum agent and 48 % received a broad-spectrum agent. In adjusted analysis, patients receiving the narrow-spectrum agent had a 10-hour shorter length of stay than those receiving the broad-spectrum agent (P=0.04).

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No significant differences were observed between the groups for other outcomes, including duration of supplemental oxygen, duration of fever or seven-day readmission. No difference was observed between the groups in average daily standardized cost (P=0.62) or average daily standardized pharmacy cost (P=0.26).

“Compared with broad-spectrum agents, narrow-spectrum antibiotic coverage is associated with similar outcomes,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings support national consensus recommendations for the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics in children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia.”


  1. Queen M et al. Pediatrics. 2013; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1773.