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Arch Intern Med. 1984 May;144(5):1005-10.

Empiric therapy for infections in patients with granulocytopenia. Continuous v interrupted infusion of tobramycin plus cefamandole.


A combination of tobramycin sulfate and cefamandole nafate was used as initial empiric therapy for the treatment of 71 evaluable febrile (temperature greater than 38.5 degrees C) episodes in 64 (neutrophils, less than 1,000/microL) adult patients with cancer and granulocytopenia. Carbenicillin sodium or ticarcillin disodium was substituted for cefamandole in patients with Pseudomonas infections and in patients in whom the initial regimen was unsuccessful. Twenty-nine episodes were randomized to receive tobramycin by continuous infusion, while 42 were randomized to receive tobramycin by interrupted infusion. Twenty-seven (79%) of the 34 documented infections responded to the initial empiric antibiotic combination, ten (83%) of 12 being given continuous infusion and 17 (77%) of 22 being given interrupted infusion of tobramycin. Nephrotoxic reaction occurred in 7% of patients treated with continuous infusion and 15% treated with interrupted infusion, mostly patients older than 60 years. Tobramycin, by either continuous or interrupted infusion, plus cefamandole is safe and efficacious empiric therapy for infections in patients with cancer and granulocytopenia.

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