Background: There is disagreement about the use of zinc and synbiotics in improving the effectiveness of antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial pneumonia in children or reducing the side effects of this treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the interventional effects of synbiotics and zinc sulfate on reducing clinical symptoms and the average duration of treatment in children suffering from bacterial pneumonia.
Methods: This study was a randomized clinical trial with a parallel-group. The participants included 1 month to 18 years children who were admitted to Sabzevar Heshmatieh Hospital with fever, cough, and respiratory distress with a diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia. They were assigned to the three groups of antibiotic only, antibiotics/synbiotics and antibiotics/zinc, randomly. Clinical symptoms including fever, faster respiration rate per minute (Tachypnea), retraction (subcostal, intercostal, suprasternal, and nasal flaring), crackles, wheezing, cough, and gastrointestinal side effects (diarrhea) were recorded on arrival and daily until discharge and compared at a significance level of 0.05.
Results: Overall, there was no significant difference between the patients' clinical symptoms (fever, respiration rate per minute, subcostal, intercostal and suprasternal retraction, and nasal flaring), crackles, wheezing, cough, and gastrointestinal side effects (diarrhea) in the three groups.
Conclusion: The results of this study could not show any clinical benefit for prescribing zinc or synbiotics in combination with standard antibiotic therapy in the treatment of children and infants, and they could not reduce the side effects of this treatment.