Once-Daily Intramuscular Ceftriaxone in the Outpatient Treatment of Severe Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Children

Eugene Leibovitz, Elvan Tabachnik, Orna Fliedel, Shoshana Steinberg, Asaria Askenazi, Yigal Barak, Avraham Miskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Ceftriaxone, a broad spectrum third-generation cephalosporin with a half-life of six to eight hours, was evaluated prospectively in 147 children with severe community-acquired bacterial pneumonia during the period 11/15/88-5/15/89. Thirty-nine of the children had been successfully treated with various oral antibiotics prior to admission. All the patients were initially hospitalized and started on once a day intramuscular ceftriaxone. Mean duration of ceftriaxone therapy was five days. Pathogens were recovered from blood cultures of 17 (11.6%) patients and included S. pneumoniae (13 patients), H. influenzae (three, all resistant to ampicillin) and S. viridans.1 All isolates were sensitive to ceftriaxone. An additional patient had L. pneumophila diagnosed by serology. Cure was achieved in 142 (96.6%) patients; improvement was usually observed within 24-48 hours. After 48 hours, 121 (82.2%) children could be discharged and continued the therapy on ambulatory basis. Based on previous experience we estimated that 383 hospitalization days were saved. No serious side effects were observed. Five patients were considered therapeutic failures; two of them developed empyema and one of them required repeated drainage procedures. A third patient experienced a relapse of pneumonia shortly after completion of therapy. The other two remained febrile for more than seven days; their subsequent improvement was unrelated to the antibiotic therapy, suggesting a viral or mycoplasmal syndrome. Our data suggest that once daily intramuscular ceftriaxone can be successfully used for the outpatient treatment of most community-acquired severe bacterial pneumonias in children. In our opinion it represents the treatment of choice for patients who failed treatment with other antimicrobials and are clinically stable enough not to require hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-639
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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