Tigecycline for the Treatment of Severe Clostridium difficile Infection

Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester/Manchester, MA, USA.
Annals of Pharmacotherapy (Impact Factor: 2.06). 07/2011; 45(7-8):1005-10. DOI: 10.1345/aph.1Q080
Source: PubMed


To evaluate the evidence for the use of tigecycline in the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
Searches were performed (2004 to June 2011), using the EMBASE and MEDLINE databases, with the terms tigecycline, Tygacil, Clostridium difficile, C. difficile, Clostridium difficile infection, and CDI.
Six case reports that described the use of tigecycline for treatment of CDI were included for review. No clinical trials were identified.
In all case reports except 1, tigecycline (alone or in combination with other CDI therapies) was used for the treatment of CDI that was refractory to metronidazole and/or vancomycin. In 6 of the cases, treatment success was reported following initiation of tigecycline therapy; 1 patient died following a complicated hospitalization. The treatment duration with tigecycline was 2-4 weeks. In the cases with successful outcomes, symptoms began to improve within 1 week. None of these patients experienced recurrence during follow-up of various lengths. In vitro studies demonstrated a 90% minimum inhibitory concentration range for tigecycline of 0.016-0.25 mg/L for all C. difficile isolates. Tigecycline exhibited good fecal penetration because of primary biliary excretion of unchanged drug. Up to 59% of the dose is recovered in feces following administration over 4 days in healthy volunteers.
Case reports have suggested that tigecycline may be successful for treatment of severe or severe complicated CDI, when prior therapy has failed. Data demonstrating tigecycline use as initial therapy for CDI are limited; therefore, this option should be reserved for patients in whom other therapeutic options, including metronidazole and vancomycin, have failed. A randomized controlled trial is needed to assess the safety and efficacy of tigecycline in this patient population and better define the drug's role in the treatment of CDI.

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