Paediatrics and Child Health (Canada)
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Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is commonly prescribed for upper and lower respiratory tract infections in children. While it has proven benefits, some concerns regarding azithromycin use have arisen in recent years. This practice point considers azithromycin therapy for acute respiratory infections in otherwise healthy children. Pharmacokinetics, spectrum of activity, the problem of resistant bacteria and clinical aspects are considered, along with recommendations for use and contraindications. Azithromycin should be avoided in patients with a significant risk of bacteremia. It is associated with pneumococcal resistance and, with stated exceptions, is generally not recommended for the treatment of acute pharyngitis, acute otitis media or pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in the paediatric population. © Canadian Paediatric Society 2013.