Azithromycin vs Cefuroxime Plus Erythromycin for Empirical Treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Hospitalized Patients: A Prospective, Randomized, Multicenter Trial

Infectious Disease Sections, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Archives of Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 17.33). 05/2000; 160(9):1294-300. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.160.9.1294
Source: PubMed


To compare the efficacy and safety of azithromycin dihydrate monotherapy with those of a combination of cefuroxime axetil plus erythromycin as empirical therapy for community-acquired pneumonia in hospitalized patients.
Patients were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, multicenter study. The standard therapy of cefuroxime plus erythromycin was consistent with the American Thoracic Society, Canadian Community-Acquired Pneumonia Consensus Group, and Infectious Disease Society of America consensus guidelines. The doses were intravenous azithromycin (500 mg once daily) followed by oral azithromycin (500 mg once daily), intravenous cefuroxime (750 mg every 8 hours), followed by oral cefuroxime axetil (500 mg twice daily), and erythromycin (500-1000 mg) intravenously or orally every 6 hours. Randomization was stratified by severity of illness and age. Patients who were immunosuppressed or residing in nursing homes were excluded.
Data from 145 patients (67 received azithromycin and 78 received cefuroxime plus erythromycin) were evaluable. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae were isolated in 19% (28/145) and 13% (19/145), respectively. The atypical pathogens accounted for 33% (48/145) of the etiologic diagnoses; Legionella pneumophila, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were identified in 14% (20/ 145), 10% (15/145), and 9% (13/145), respectively. Clinical cure was achieved in 91% (61/67) of the patients in the azithromycin group and 91% (71/78) in the cefuroxime plus erythromycin group. Adverse events (intravenous catheter site reactions, gastrointestinal tract disturbances) were significantly more common in patients who received cefuroxime plus erythromycin (49% [30/78]) than in patients who received azithromycin (12% [8/67]) (P<.001).
Treatment with azithromycin was as effective as cefuroxime plus erythromycin in the empirical management of community-acquired pneumonia in immunocompetent patients who were hospitalized. Azithromycin was well tolerated.

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    • "Two to fifteen percent of all hospitalizations for community-acquired pneumonias in Europe and North America are caused by Legionella and recent studies suggest that rates of legionellosis may be increasing [2]. The optimal antibiotic treatment of legionellosis has never been investigated in a randomized clinical trial, but most clinicians use either macrolides or fluoroquinolones [3,4] alone or combined with rifampicin [5]. "
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    BMC Infectious Diseases 05/2010; 10(1):124. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-10-124 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    • "La durée optimale du traitement antibiotique en cas de pneumonies communautaires sévères ayant nécessité l'hospitalisation en réanimation n'est pas connue. Les seuls travaux publiés qui ont essayé de répondre à cette question ont en fait porté sur des pneumonies peu sévères et en règle générale ont comparé deux molécules différentes, par exemple un macrolide de longue durée d'action ou une fluoroquinolone et une bêtalactamine [1] [2] [3] [4]. Il est cependant intéressant de noter que les recommandations récentes , qu'il s'agisse de celles faites par l'ATS (American Thoracic Society) ou par la Société européenne de pneumologie proposent de raccourcir la durée de traitement à sept à dix jours [5] [6]. "
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