Author(s): Perry CM, Jarvis B
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Linezolid is the first of a new class of antibacterial drugs, the oxazolidinones. It has inhibitory activity against a broad range of gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus (GISA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. The drug also shows activity against certain anaerobes, including Clostridium perfringens, C. difficile, Peptostreptococcus spp. and Bacteroidesfragilis. In controlled phase III studies, linezolid was as effective as vancomycin in the treatment of patients with infections caused by methicillin-resistant staphylococci and also demonstrated efficacy against infections caused by VRE. Further phase III studies have demonstrated that linezolid is an effective treatment for patients with nosocomial pneumonia, for hospitalised patients with community-acquired pneumonia, and for patients with complicated skin or soft tissue infections (SSTIs). In these studies, linezolid was as effective as established treatments, including third-generation cephalosporins in patients with pneumonia, and oxacillin in patients with complicated SSTIs. Oral linezolid 400 or 600mg twice daily was as effective as clarithromycin 250mg twice daily or cefpodoxime proxetil 200mg twice daily in the treatment of patients with uncomplicated SSTIs or community-acquired pneumonia. Linezolid is a generally well tolerated drug. The most frequently reported adverse events in linezolid recipients were diarrhoea, headache, nausea and vomiting. Thrombocytopenia was also documented in a small proportion (about 2\%) of patients treated with the drug. CONCLUSIONS: Linezolid has good activity against gram-positive bacteria, particularly multidrug resistant strains of S. aureus (including GISA), Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis (including VRE). In controlled clinical trials, linezolid was as effective as vancomycin in eradicating infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. and has demonstrated efficacy against infections caused by VRE. As the level of resistance to vancomycin increases among S. aureus and enterococci, linezolid is poised to play an important role in the management of serious gram-positive infections.
This article was published in Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability