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New restrictions on antibiotic use

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The European Medicines Agency has recommended restricting the use of the antibiotic telithromycin for bronchitis, sinusitis and tonsillitis/pharyngitis.

The European Medicines Agency has recommended restricting the use of the antibiotic telithromycin for bronchitis, sinusitis and tonsillitis/pharyngitis.

It says that it should only be used for bacterial resistant strains that are resistant to macrolide or beta-lactam antibiotics.

The agency said no such restrictions were recommended for the drug's remaining indication, the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia.

It has been carrying out a comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of telithromycin since January 2006.

Finalising the review at its March 2007, it concluded that its use was associated with a worsening of myasthenia gravis (which can be life-threatening), transient loss of consciousness, and temporary visual disturbances.

Severe problems with the liver have been reported rarely, but do not occur more frequently than with other relevant antibiotic medicines.

www.emea.eu.int

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