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J Hepatol. 2000 Apr;32(4):596-602.

Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid versus cefotaxime in the therapy of bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM:

Cefotaxime is considered the first-choice antibiotic for empirical treatment in cirrhotic patients developing bacterial infections. It has been suggested that amoxicillin-clavulanic acid could be an alternative to cefotaxime, particularly in patients developing bacterial infections while on prophylactic norfloxacin. The aim of the present study was to compare amoxicillin-clavulanic acid with cefotaxime in the treatment of bacterial infections in cirrhosis.

METHODS:

Ninety-six hospitalized cirrhotic patients with suspicion of bacterial infection were prospectively included and randomized into two groups: one group (n=48) received amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, first intravenously 1 g-0.2 g every 8 h, and then orally 500 mg-125 mg every 8 h, and the other group (n=48) received intravenous cefotaxime 1 g every 6 h. Patients were stratified for previous prophylaxis with norfloxacin and ascitic fluid infection.

RESULTS:

Sixteen patients were excluded from the analysis because bacterial infection was not demonstrated or because of secondary peritonitis. Therefore, 38 patients from the amoxicillin-clavulanic acid group and 42 from the cefotaxime group were finally analyzed. There were 24 ascitic fluid infections in each group. Infection resolution (86.8% vs 88%, 95% CI: -0.15 to 0.13, p NS), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis resolution (87.5% vs 83.3%, 95% CI: -0.15 to 0.24, p NS), duration of treatment, incidence of complications, time of hospitalization and hospital mortality were similar in both groups. Considering patients on prophylactic norfloxacin, infection resolution was also similar (100% vs 83.3%, 95% CI: -0.04 to 0.37, p NS). No adverse events were observed in either of the two groups. The cost of antibiotics was statistically lower in the amoxicillin-clavulanic acid group (p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid is as effective as cefotaxime in the treatment of bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients, but is less expensive and can be administered orally. These results suggest that amoxicillin-clavulanic acid is an effective alternative to cefotaxime for the empirical treatment of bacterial infections in cirrhosis.

PMID:
10782908
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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