Objectives: To evaluate the risk for infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) among infants prescribed systemic erythromycin, infants prescribed a course of erythromycin ophthalmic ointment, and infants whose mothers were prescribed a macrolide antibiotic during pregnancy. Study design: Retrospective cohort study of infants born at an urban hospital from June 1993 through December 1999. Results: Of 14,876 eligible infants, 43 (0.29%) developed IHPS. Infants prescribed systemic erythromycin had increased risk of IHPS, with the highest risk in the first 2 weeks of age (relative risk = 10.51 for erythromycin in first 2 weeks, 95% CI 4.48, 24.66). Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment for conjunctivitis was not associated with increased risk of IHPS. Maternal macrolide antibiotics within 10 weeks of delivery may have been associated with higher risk of IHPS but the data were not conclusive. Conclusions: This study confirms an association between systemic erythromycin in infants and subsequent IHPS, with the highest risk in the first 2 weeks of age. No association was found with erythromycin ophthalmic ointment. A possible association with maternal macrolide therapy in late pregnancy requires further study. Systemic erythromycin should be used with prudence in early infancy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health