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Our objective was to perform a prospective, randomized, double blinded study of cefprozil and penicillin therapy to eradicate group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS) in children who were bacteriologic failures after receiving a standard 10-day course of penicillin treatment for GABHS pharyngitis.Children and adolescents 2 to 18 years of age were eligible for the study. From 3 to 7 days after completing oral penicillin therapy for pharyngitis caused by GABHS, the study was explained, informed consent was obtained, a history and physical examination were completed and a throat culture was performed. Children with throat cultures positive for GABHS were randomized to receive either cefprozil or penicillin for 10 days. Children who were bacteriologic failures after administration of the first study drug were crossed over to receive the alternate drug.Of 180 enrolled children 66(37%) had throat cultures positive for GABHS. Seventeen were excluded from the study, leaving 49 who completed the protocol. Of the 49 participants 26 received cefprozil initially whereas 23 received penicillin. GABHS were eradicated from the pharynx of 73% of children who received cefprozil as the first antibiotic compared with 39% of penicillin recipients (chi square, 5.748, 0.01 < P < 0.025). After crossover of failures, the final efficacy rate for cefprozil was 65% compared with 36.7% for penicillin (chi square, 5.523, 0.01 < P < 0.025).Cefprozil was more effective than penicillin in treating children who were bacteriologic failures after a standard 10-day course of oral penicillin.