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The dependence of the effectiveness of postoperative antibiotic use after tonsillectomy on the duration of antimicrobial appointment: results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study

Prescribing antibiotics after a tonsillectomy in children to relieve pain, reduce the period of time to resume normal eating and restore daily activity has been used for over 50 years. Microorganisms representing normal oropharyngeal flora are thought to colonize the wound surfaces of the tonsil sinuses (paired depressions between the lingual and pharyngeal palatine arches, in which the palatine tonsils were found) and release inflammatory mediators that cause pain. Antibiotics prescribed after tonsillectomy can significantly reduce the number of bacteria and thus reduce the intensity of pain.

The aim of a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study was to compare the effectiveness of 3 and 7 day antibiotics in relieving pain and restoring normal diet and daily activity in children undergoing tonsillectomy. The results of this study were published in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 2009.

The study involved 49 children who underwent a tonsillectomy with or without removal of adenoid vegetation. Patients were randomized to receive amoxicillin for 7 days (26 children, group A) or 3 days + 4 days placebo (23 patients, group B) after surgery.

The parents of the patients recorded the following information: the use of painkillers during the first 7 days after surgery, the days when the child's normal diet and activity level were restored, as well as the drug treatment for oral bleeding and dehydration.

The information necessary for the analysis was obtained from the parents of 47 patients (96%). It turned out that there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups for the three parameters evaluated.

Thus, a 3-day amoxicillin treatment after tonsillectomy is also effective in stopping postoperative pain and restoring the usual diet and daily activity in children, as well as the use of the antibiotic for 7 days.