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N Engl J Med. 1981 Apr 30;304(18):1057-62.

A comparison of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus nystatin with gentamicin plus nystatin in the prevention of infections in acute leukemia.


Fifty-three profoundly granulocytopenic patients with relapsed acute leukemia who were undergoing reinduction chemotherapy were prospectively randomized to receive either trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus nystatin or gentamicin plus nystatin for prevention of infections. The acquisition of new organisms per patient during the total study period was similar in both groups. Thirty-five symptomatic infections (five of which were bacteremias) occurred in patients receiving trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus nystatin, whereas 31 infections (eight bacteremias) occurred in patients receiving gentamicin plus nystatin. Four deaths related to infection occurred in patients taking trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and eight occurred in patients taking gentamicin. We conclude that trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus nystatin was approximately as effective as gentamicin plus nystatin for prophylaxis against infection in relapsed acute leukemia. Furthermore, side effects were fewer and compliance was better with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus nystatin.

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