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Am J Med. 2001 Oct 1;111(5):367-74.

Efficacy and safety of oral and early-switch therapy for community-acquired pneumonia: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Internal Medicine Departments of the Hospital de Girona Doctor Josep Trueta, Girona, Spain.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We sought to determine the safety, efficacy, and cost of oral therapy for patients with community-acquired pneumonia. In patients with nonsevere pneumonia, conventional (parenteral) treatment was compared with the oral route; in patients with severe pneumonia, conventional treatment was compared with early switch from parenteral to oral therapy.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

We randomly assigned 85 hospitalized patients with nonsevere pneumonia to one of two groups: 41 received oral antimicrobials from admission, and 44 received parenteral antimicrobials until they had been afebrile for 72 hours before switching to oral treatment. We randomly assigned 103 patients with severe pneumonia who had initially been treated with parenteral antimicrobials to one of two groups: 48 were switched to oral therapy after 48 hours of treatment (early switch), and 55 received a full 10-day course of parenteral antibiotics.

RESULTS:

Among patients with nonsevere pneumonia, there were no deaths in the oral treatment group, and one death (2%) in the parenteral treatment group (95% confidence interval [CI] for between-group [oral minus parenteral] difference: -7% to 2%, P = 0.3). The time to resolution of morbidity was < or =5 days in 34 (83%) patients in the oral treatment group and 39 (88%) patients in the parenteral treatment group (P = 0.5); there were treatment failures in 4 (10%) patients in the oral treatment group and 14 (32%) patients in the parenteral treatment group (P = 0.02). Among patients with severe pneumonia, there was one (2%) death in the early-switch group and no deaths in the full course of parenteral antibiotics groups (95% CI for between-group [early switch vs. full course] difference: -2% to 6%, P = 0.5). The time to resolution of morbidity was < or =5 days in 38 (79%) patients in the early-switch group and 41 (75%) in the full-course group (P = 0.3). There were 12 (25%) treatment failures in the early-switch group and 13 (24%) in the full-course group (P = 0.9). There were fewer adverse events in the oral and early-switch groups, primarily due to lower rates of infusion-related phlebitis. Significant cost savings, mainly due to a shorter hospitalization, occurred among patients with severe pneumonia in the early-switch group.

CONCLUSION:

Inpatients with nonsevere community-acquired pneumonia can be effectively and safely treated with oral antimicrobials from the time of admission, whereas those with severe pneumonia can be treated with early-switch therapy.

PMID:
11583639
DOI:
10.1016/s0002-9343(01)00868-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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