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December 19, 2001

Antibiotic Treatment of Adults With Sore Throat—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(23):2942-2943. doi:10.1001/jama.286.23.2940

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.

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