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Risk of adverse effects in pneumonic foals treated with erythromycin versus other antibiotics: 143 cases (1986–1996)

Meri Stratton-PhelpsVeterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 DVM, MPVM
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W. David WilsonDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 BVMS, MS
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Ian A. GardnerDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 BVSc, MPVM, PhD

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether foals with pneumonia that were treated with erythromycin, alone or in combination with rifampin or gentamicin, had a higher risk of developing adverse effects, compared with foals treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMS), penicillin G procaine (PGP), or a combination of TMS and PGP (control foals).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—143 foals < 240 days old.

Procedure—Information on age, sex, breed, primary drug treatment, total days of treatment with the primary drug, and whether the foal developed diarrhea, hyperthermia, or respiratory distress was obtained from the medical records. Relative risk (RR) and attributable risk (AR) were calculated to compare risk of adverse reactions between foals treated with erythromycin and control foals.

Results—Only 3 (4.3%) control foals developed diarrhea; none developed hyperthermia or respiratory distress. Foals treated with erythromycin had an 8-fold risk (RR, 8.3) of developing diarrhea, compared with control foals, and increased risks of hyperthermia (AR, 25%) and respiratory distress (AR, 15%).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that use of erythromycin to treat foals with pneumonia was associated with an increased risk of diarrhea, hyperthermia, and respiratory distress, compared with use of TMS or PGP. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:68–73)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether foals with pneumonia that were treated with erythromycin, alone or in combination with rifampin or gentamicin, had a higher risk of developing adverse effects, compared with foals treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMS), penicillin G procaine (PGP), or a combination of TMS and PGP (control foals).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—143 foals < 240 days old.

Procedure—Information on age, sex, breed, primary drug treatment, total days of treatment with the primary drug, and whether the foal developed diarrhea, hyperthermia, or respiratory distress was obtained from the medical records. Relative risk (RR) and attributable risk (AR) were calculated to compare risk of adverse reactions between foals treated with erythromycin and control foals.

Results—Only 3 (4.3%) control foals developed diarrhea; none developed hyperthermia or respiratory distress. Foals treated with erythromycin had an 8-fold risk (RR, 8.3) of developing diarrhea, compared with control foals, and increased risks of hyperthermia (AR, 25%) and respiratory distress (AR, 15%).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that use of erythromycin to treat foals with pneumonia was associated with an increased risk of diarrhea, hyperthermia, and respiratory distress, compared with use of TMS or PGP. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:68–73)