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Pasha, Y.Z., Ahmadpour-Kacho, M., Behmadi, R. and Jahangir, T. (2014) 3-Day versus 5-Day Course of Intravenous Antibiotics for Suspected Early Onset Neonatal Sepsis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics. 24(6), p.673-8.


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this randomized controlled trial was to compare the treatment failure of suspected early onset neonatal sepsis with either 3-day or 5-day course of empirical antibiotic therapy.

METHODS: Infants with birth weight over 1500 g and/or gestational age over 34 weeks within 7 days postnatal age with clinical symptoms of neonatal sepsis received empirical antibiotics (Ampicillin + Amikacin) in two neonatal intensive care units. After 72 hours if the result of blood culture was negative and symptoms resolved they were randomly allocated to 3-day or 5-day groups. The main outcome was treatment failure which was defined as reappearance of symptoms of sepsis within two weeks after discontinuation of antibiotics. Infants with congenital anomalies, localized infections, asphyxia, those undergoing surgery or when serum C-reactive protein levels remained abnormal despite treatment, were not included. Randomization was accomplished with simple randomization procedure.

FINDINGS: Sixty patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either group. Baseline characteristics were similar between two groups. The follow-up period was 2 weeks with no lost to follow-up. One infant in 3-day group had treatment failure compared with no treatment failure in 5-day group (P=0.5). No serious harm was observed due to our empirical antibiotic regimen.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicated no evidence that treatment failure differs between 3-day and 5-day course antibiotic therapy for suspected early onset uncomplicated neonatal sepsis in late preterm and term newborns.

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