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Clin Ther. 1991 Nov-Dec;13(6):727-36.

Ofloxacin versus cephalexin in the treatment of skin, skin structure, and soft-tissue infections in adults.

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  • 1Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.


A multicenter study was conducted to compare the safety and efficacy of oral ofloxacin with that of cephalexin in microbiologic eradication of skin and skin-structure pathogens and the clinical treatment of skin and skin-structure infections. The subjects, 335 adult patients with acute localized infections of the skin, skin structure, or soft tissue, were randomly assigned to receive 400 mg of ofloxacin orally every 12 hours or 500 mg of cephalexin orally every six hours for 10 days. At admission, 398 aerobic pathogens were isolated, the most common being Staphylococcus aureus (160 isolates), Streptococcus pyogenes (49), coagulase-negative staphylococci (30), Staphylococcus epidermidis (25), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10). Of 317 isolates tested against ofloxacin, 96% were susceptible, and of 325 tested against cephalexin, 85% were susceptible (P less than 0.001). Microbiologic and clinical outcome were evaluated in 73 ofloxacin-treated patients and in 65 cephalexin-treated patients. The causative pathogens were eradicated in 95% of the ofloxacin group and in 92% of the cephalexin group. In the ofloxacin group, 75% were clinically cured and 23% improved, and in the cephalexin group, 74% and 23%, respectively. Drug-related adverse experiences were reported by 14% of the 161 ofloxacin-treated patients and by 11% of the 162 cephalexin-treated patients; gastrointestinal disturbances were reported by 8% and 7% and nervous system effects by 6% and 1%, respectively (P less than 0.05). It is concluded that both ofloxacin and cephalexin are safe and effective in the treatment of skin and soft-tissue infections.

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