International comparative study of cefepime and ceftazidime in the treatment of serious bacterial infections

A. I.M. Hoepelman, J. Verhoef, H. Kieft, M. Aoun, J. Kosmidis, T. Strand, S. H. Gillespie, J. Riddell, G. Varghese, F. Meunier

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In this randomized multicentre study, we compared the safety and efficacy of cefepime, 2.0 g bd iv. with that of ceftazidime, 2.0 g tid iv, as initial treatment of adult patients with serious infections of bacterial aetiology. Three hundred and forty-eight patients were entered into the study, 173 received cefepime and 175 ceftazidime. The treatment groups were comparable with respect to demographic characteristics, including the types of infection (cefepime/ceftazidime: urinary tract. 55/72; lower respiratory tract, 83/74; skin and soft tissue, 23/14; septicaemia, 81/81; and others, 15/5). Gram-positive bacteria were identified as pathogens on 86 occasions (cefepime/ceftazidime: 48/41), including 20 Staphylococcus aureus isolates (13/7) and 27 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates (14/13). Gram-negative bacilli were isolated on 261 occasions (126/135), and included 219 Enterobacteriaceae (cefepime/ceftazidime: 108/111) and 34 strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (14/20). An intention-to-treat analysis revealed satisfactory clinical response rates of 80% and 79% for the cefepime and ceftazidime groups, respectively, and bacteriological eradication rates of 85% and 88% for the cefepime and ceftazidime groups, respectively. Of patients with microbiologically documented infections, 86% (84 of 98) treated with cefepime and 87% (94 of 108) treated with ceftazidime responded satisfactorily. Thirty-two patients (19%) treated with cefepime and 26 (15%) treated with ceftazidime died. Thirty-six patients in the cefepime group and 23 in the ceftazidime group experienced adverse events; therapy was discontinued prematurely in four and two patients in the cefepime and ceftazidime groups, respectively. Of the patients experiencing adverse events, 22 (13%) treated with cefepime developed intolerance at the injection site, compared with 11 (6%) treated with ceftazidime (P = 0.045). In conclusion, twice-daily cefepime (2 g bd) is at least as effective as ceftazidime (2 g tid), as initial empirical therapy for serious bacterial infections in non-neutropenic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1993


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