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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2010 Jan;35(1):3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2009.09.013. Epub 2009 Nov 8.

Linezolid versus vancomycin for the treatment of gram-positive bacterial infections: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, General Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, 28 Fuxing Road, Beijing, PR China.


This review aimed to compare data regarding the effectiveness and safety of linezolid and vancomycin in the treatment of gram-positive bacterial infections. PubMed and other databases were searched to identify relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Nine RCTs studying 2489 clinically assessed patients were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, there was no difference between linezolid and vancomycin regarding treatment success in clinically assessed patients [odds ratio (OR)=1.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.99-1.50]. Linezolid was more effective than vancomycin in patients with skin and soft-tissue infections (OR=1.40, 95% CI 1.01-1.95). However, there was no difference in treatment success for patients with bacteraemia (OR=0.88, 95% CI 0.49-1.58) or pneumonia (OR=1.16, 95% CI 0.85-1.57). Linezolid was associated with better eradication rates in all microbiologically assessed patients compared with vancomycin (OR=1.33, 95% CI 1.03-1.71). There was no difference in total adverse effects possibly or probably related to the study drugs (OR=1.14, 95% CI 0.82-1.59). However, nephrotoxicity was recorded more commonly in patients receiving vancomycin (OR=0.31, 95% CI 0.13-0.74). In conclusion, linezolid is as effective as vancomycin in patients with gram-positive infections. There is superior clinical and microbiological outcome with linezolid in complicated skin and soft-tissue infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

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