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Crit Care Med. 1997 Oct;25(10):1663-70.

Empiric treatment of hospital-acquired lower respiratory tract infections with meropenem or ceftazidime with tobramycin: a randomized study. Meropenem Lower Respiratory Infection Group.

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Department of Medicine and Pharmacy, Orlando Regional Medical Center, FL 32806, USA.

Erratum in

  • Crit Care Med 1997 Dec;25(12):2067.



To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of intravenous empiric treatment with meropenem compared with ceftazidime-tobramycin in patients with hospital-acquired lower respiratory tract infections.


Prospective, nonblind, randomized trial.


Multicenter trial conducted at 22 centers.


Two hundred eleven patients were enrolled and 121 were evaluable for the analysis of both clinical and bacteriologic efficacy.


One hundred four patients were randomized to receive intravenous meropenem (1000 mg) every 8 hrs and 107 patients were randomized to receive intravenous ceftazidime (2000 mg) plus tobramycin (1 mg/kg) every 8 hrs. Sixty-three meropenem-treated patients and 58 ceftazidime-tobramycin-treated patients were eligible for the analysis of clinical and bacteriologic efficacy. In the ceftazidime-tobramycin group, 32 (55%) evaluable patients received more than six doses of tobramycin, 24 (41%) received six doses or fewer, and two (3%) did not receive any tobramycin.


The analysis of efficacy was based on the clinical and bacteriologic responses at the end of treatment. Satisfactory clinical responses occurred in 56 (89%) of 63 of the meropenem-treated patients and in 42 (72%) of 58 of the ceftazidime-tobramycin-treated patients (p = .04). Corresponding bacteriologic response rates were 89% and 67%, respectively (p = .006). The frequency and profile of drug-related adverse events was similar across treatment groups. Seizures were reported in three meropenem-treated patients, but these seizures were considered by the investigator to be unrelated to treatment.


Meropenem is well tolerated and more efficacious than the combination of ceftazidime and tobramycin for the initial empiric treatment of hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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