The Efficacy of Postoperative Oral Antibiotics in Appendicitis: A Randomized Prospective Double-Blinded Study

Taylor, Edward; Berjis, Amir; Bosch, Theodore; Hoehne, Francesca; Ozaeta, Maria
October 2004
American Surgeon;Oct2004, Vol. 70 Issue 10, p858
Academic Journal
The conventional treatment of acute appendicitis is appendectomy followed by intravenous (IV) antibiotics until intraabdominal infection has resolved. It is controversial as to whether it is efficacious to add a course of oral antibiotics after cessation of IV antibiotics. All consenting patients who presented to Kern Medical Center between October 2000 and June 2003 with acute appendicitis were entered into the study. Perforated/gangrenous appendicitis was equally represented in the two study arms. After appendectomy, and when IV antibiotics were ready to be discontinued, patients were randomized to receive a 7-day outpatient course of either placebo (Group 1) or oral antibiotics (Group 2). Patients were monitored for infectious complications for a minimum of 3 months, and there was no statistical difference (11.5% in Group 1 vs 12.1% in Group 2, P = 0.61). The data suggest that adding a course of outpatient oral antibiotics, after completing a course of IV antibiotics, does not decrease postoperative infectious complications in appendicitis patients.


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