Erythromycin has been recommended for the treatment of staphylococcal and streptococcal infections in newborn infants even though few studies of its use in this age group have been reported. Fujii et al1 published serum levels for various doses of erythromycin in the full-term infant. No similar study has been reported for the premature infant. Reichelderfer et al2 noted no toxic reaction or accumulation of erythromycin in a study of 11 newborn infants of whom four were premature. He obtained serum levels on two of the prematures. Isenberg et al3 reported the recovery without toxic reactions of eight infected premature infants treated with erythromycin.
Michael et al4,5 reported animal studies showing that chloramphenicol, penicillin, novobiocin, and tetracycline were more toxic for the newborn rat than the adult rat, while streptomycin was not. That the newborn infant may respond to drugs differently than the adult is amply demonstrated
BURNS L, HODGMAN J. Studies of Prematures Given Erythromycin Estolate. Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(3):280-288. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050282005