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November 1984

Treatment of Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonitis: A Comparative Trial of Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim v Pentamidine in Pediatric Patients With Cancer: Report From the Childrens Cancer Study Group

Author Affiliations

From the Childrens Cancer Study Group, Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1051-1054. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490051012

• Pentamidine isethionate and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim are effective in the treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in the immunosuppressed pediatric patient. To compare their efficacy and toxicity, 25 pediatric cancer patients with biopsy-proved P carinii pneumonia were randomly assigned to receive either pentamidine intramuscularly or sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim orally for 14 days. No differences in response or frequency of side effects were noted between the two drug regimens, with recovery occurring in 24(96%) of 25 children. Skin eruptions and hematologic abnormalities were the most common side effects of sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim therapy, while local reactions at injection sites, abnormal renal function, and hypoglycemia were the most frequent complications of pentamidine treatment. The ease of administration and less serious side effects of sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim make it the drug of first choice for treating P carinii pneumonia. Pentamidine remains an important drug for patients who fail to respond to this initial therapy.

(AJDC 1984;138:1051-1054)

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