Eighty one children aged between 1 and 13 years participated in a randomised comparative trial of tetracycline hydrochloride and erythromycin stearate for treatment of Mediterranean spotted fever. Both therapeutic regimens proved effective, but in patients treated with tetracycline both clinical symptoms and fever disappeared significantly more quickly. Likewise, when those patients who began treatment within the first 72 hours of illness are considered the febrile period had a significantly shorter duration in the group treated with tetracycline. One patient was switched to tetracycline because there was no improvement of clinical manifestations, with persistence of fever, myalgias, and prostration, after receiving eight days of treatment with erythromycin. These results suggest that tetracyclines are superior to erythromycin in the treatment of Mediterranean spotted fever.
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