Antibiotics for preventing suppurative complications from undifferentiated acute respiratory infections in children under five years of age

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There is insufficient evidence from clinical trials on the effectiveness (efficacy and safety) of antibiotics in reducing the risk of otitis or pneumonia in children aged between two and 59 months with undifferentiated acute respiratory infections (ARIs).

ARIs are a group of infections affecting the upper part of the respiratory system lasting up to seven days. The infections are most common in pre-school children residing in low income countries. About 75% of the total amount of prescribed antibiotics in high-income countries is attributable to ARIs. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness and safety of antibiotics in preventing complications in children aged two to 59 months with undifferentiated ARIs.

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