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Ampicillin Dosage and Use of Prednisolone in Treatment of Pneumonia: Co-operative Controlled Trial

Br Med J 1972; 4 doi: (Published 09 December 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;4:569
  1. Valentine U. McHardy,
  2. M. E. Schonell


    A controlled trial was carried out to investigate whether the rate of recovery from pneumonia treated with ampicillin is dose related. Sixty-three patients received 1 g ampicillin daily and 63 received 2 g ampicillin daily for seven or 14 days depending on the rate of response. Twenty patients in each of these groups received, in addition, 20 mg prednisolone daily for seven days. The treatment groups were comparable and the results of treatment were similar in the four groups. The only difference which was of statistical significance was that a larger proportion of patients receiving 1 g ampicillin daily became afebrile within one week. All the ampicillin rashes occurred in the patients receiving 2 g ampicillin daily with and without prednisolone. Ampicillin 1 g daily appears to be adequate dosage in the treatment of pneumonia, and the rate of recovery has not been shown to be accelerated by using 2 g. No deleterious effects were noted with additional prednisolone therapy and this appeared to increase the rate at which the patients became afebrile, although the figures were not statistically significant.


    • * The trial was carried out in the respiratory wards of the City Hospital, Edinburgh (Professor J. W. Crofton, Drs. A. C. Douglas, N. W. Horne, G. J. R. McHardy, D. C. F. Muir). The laboratory work was carried out by Drs. Margaret A. Calder, Margaret Edmond, Sheila M. Stewart, and Helen Zealley at the Wellcome Laboratory, City Hospital, Edinburgh. The trial was co-ordinated by Drs. M. E. Schonell and Valentine U. McHardy, who prepared the report.