An open, randomized, multicentre study comparing the use of low-dose ceftazidime or cefotaxime, both in combination with netilmicin, in febrile neutropenic patients. German Multicentre Study Group.
Author(s): Hoffken G, Pasold R, Pfluger KH, Finke J, Fauser AA, Szelenyi H, Wagner J
Affiliation(s): Universitatsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany. Hoeffken@ukbf.fu-berlin.de
Publication date & source: 1999-09, J Antimicrob Chemother., 44(3):367-76.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial
To reduce drug acquisition costs, the clinical and bacteriological efficacy of low-dose ceftazidime i.v. (1 g tid) was compared with cefotaxime i.v. (2 g tid). Both regimens were combined with netilmicin i.v. (2 mg/kg bodyweight tid), in an open, randomized, multicentre trial in febrile neutropenic patients. The addition of antibiotics for gram-positive coverage was part of the protocol; alteration in the antibiotics for gram-negative cover or premature discontinuation of the study antibiotics were judged as failure. One hundred and eighty six patients were randomized by nine German centres, the patients matched for age, underlying diseases and duration of neutropenia (median duration 14 days) in both treatment arms. Infections were documented microbiologically in 29% of the patients, clinically in 16% and suspected (fever of unknown origin) in 102/186 patients (55%). The 82 pathogens isolated were predominantly gram-positive bacteria. In an intent-to-treat analysis, the overall response rate without modification at the final evaluation was 58% in the ceftazidime group and 34% in the cefotaxime group (P < 0.01). The success rates with modification were 84% and 64%, respectively. The failure rate in a highly immunosuppressed subgroup of the patients (bone marrow transplant recipients) was higher for cefotaxime (53%) than for the ceftazidime arm (14%) (P < 0.001). Response rates were significantly higher in the ceftazidime group for patients with microbiologically documented and possible infections. No major bacterial superinfections occurred in the low-dose treatment arm. The tolerability was good for both regimens. Low-dose ceftazidime combined with netilmicin proved to be superior to recommended doses of cefotaxime/netilmicin in febrile neutropenic patients.