News Update: Antibiotics after tonsillectomy: Shorter duration okay

November 1, 2009

Pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy are often given antibiotics after surgery to reduce pain. A new study has demonstrated that a 3-day course is as effective as a 7-day course.

Pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy are often given antibiotics after surgery to reduce pain. Researchers have generally used a 7-day course of antibiotics, but a new study has demonstrated that a 7-day course is no more effective than a 3-day course.

The study, which was published in the October 2009 issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, examined the difference between 3-day and 7-day courses of antibiotics (amoxicillin 40 mg/kg) after tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy in pediatric patients.

Among the 47 patients with final results available, the researchers observed no significant differences between the 2 groups in the outcomes of postoperative pain (measured by pain medication use) or time to resumption of normal diet and activity level.