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Panacea Journal of Medical Sciences


Role of zinc as an adjuvant therapy in severe pneumonia – A double blind placebo controlled randomized clinical trial


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Author Details: Vinayak R, Behal M

Volume : 5

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2348-7682

Print ISSN : 2249-8176

Article First Page : 61

Article End Page : 72


Abstract

Diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading causes of illness & death in children upto 5 years of age. Zinc supplementation is effective for treatment of acute diarrhea and can prevent pneumonia. The study was carried out to compare duration of hospitalization among zinc supplemented and placebo group, in children aged 3 months to 5 years admitted with severe pneumonia: A double blind placebo controlled randomised clinical trial and to see whether the use of oral zinc therapy when compared to placebo, as an adjuvant to antibiotics, when compared to placebo reduce the duration of hospitalization by one day in children aged 3 months to 5 years with severe pneumonia. This randomized controlled trial was conducted in the Department of Pediatrics at Goldfield Hospital and Research centre, Village Chhainsa, Faridabad from 1st April 2013 to 30th April 2014. 83 Eligible Children aged 3 months to 5 years with a clinical diagnosis of severe pneumonia were taken and given Zinc supplementation for 14 days (10 mg in < 6 months age and 20 mg in 6 months or more in age) and compared against placebo groups for duration of hospitalization and other secondary variables. Results of our study showed that clinical resolution in both the groups (zinc versus placebo) was comparable in terms of median duration of hospitalization (137.23 hours versus 132.98 hours), duration of resolution of severe pneumonia (54.1 hours versus 53.83 hours), resolution of lower chest indrawing (54.1 hours versus 53.83 hours), resolution of fast breathing (69.65 hours versus 73.73 hours), time to start oral feeds (29.3 hours versus 26 hours), duration of intravenous fluid therapy (60.08 hours versus 57.43 hours) and duration of oxygen therapy (22.63 hours versus 19.80 hours). Thus there was no difference in the primary or secondary outcome variables between the zinc and placebo groups. In this randomized controlled trial, conducted to study the efficacy of zinc supplementation, as an adjunct to antibiotics, in the treatment of severe pneumonia, we conclude that short term supplementation with zinc, given during the course of illness does not shorten the duration of resolution of severe pneumonia in children between the age group of 3 months to 5 years. Zinc supplementation also does not shorten the duration of resolution of lower chest indrawing, fast breathing and inability to feed. Zinc supplementation also does not shorten the duration of intravenous fluid therapy, oxygen therapy and duration of hospitalization.


Keywords: Zinc, Pneumonia, Hospitalization.