Should Ampicillin Be Abandoned for Treatment of Haemophilus influenzae Disease?

John D. Nelson, MD
JAMA. 1974;229(3):322-324. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230410046026.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

When ampicillin became available for general use in 1964, it simplified treatment of bacterial meningitis during infancy and childhood. Those old enough to have lived through the "triple therapy" days will recall the many inconveniences and problems; the tremendous amount of nursing time involved in giving three different antimicrobials (and often lactate or bicarbonate for alkalinization of the urine) at four- or six-hourly intervals; repeatedly measuring sulfa levels in the blood (to assure that one was in the recommended range of 10 to 15 mg/100 ml), monitoring hematological and renal indices for drug toxicity; and the discomfort to the patient receiving all those injections. How they hated the subcutaneous injections of sulfadiazine and lactate in the belly!

Ampicillin changed all that. We had a single drug uniformly effective against the usual pathogens causing meningitis beyond the newborn period. It was well tolerated intravenously or intramuscularly, and serious drug toxicity did


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.