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August 15, 1977

Prescribing of Tetracycline to Children

JAMA. 1977;238(7):579. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280070019004

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To the Editor.—  In the May 9 issue there were two articles concerning the misuse of tetracyclines in children (237:2069 and 2101, 1977). These excellent and pertinent articles were certainly relevant and should remind us to continue to monitor our antibiotic use. However, there is one justified use of tetracyclines that was not mentioned in either article and that we commonly see in this area from April 1 to Aug 1. Rocky Mountain spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii) responds only to tetracyclines or chloramphenicol, and therefore in suspected cases one of these must be used in appropriate doses. It should be noted that these drugs are only bacteriostatic and not bactericidal and must be given long enough to prevent recurrence.