Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: We agree that erythromycin estolate
suspension is relatively expensive, but the retail cost of 10 days' worth
of erythromycin-base tablets, a form more commonly used in adults, is $11.20.
Penicillin costs $6.80. In contrast, a 5-day course of azithromycin is $41.52,
and a 10-day course of clarithromycin is $74.40.1
As implied by Drs Iwata and Blum, clarithromycin and azithromycin have an
unnecessarily broad spectrum of activity for the treatment of group A β-hemolytic
streptococci (GABHS). Additionally, erythromycin base can be given to adults
in dosages of 500 mg twice daily.
Linder JA, Stafford RS. Antibiotic Treatment of Adults With Sore Throat—Reply. JAMA. 2001;286(23):2942-2943. doi:10.1001/jama.286.23.2940