Background Linezolid, an oxazolidinone antibacterial agent, is available for intravenous/oral administration, with activity against Gram-positive bacteria.
Purpose To evaluate the suitability of linezolid prescribing and use, in terms of therapeutic indications (infections of skin and soft tissues and community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia), sensitivity of the causative organism(s) and the incidence of thrombocytopenia (platelet count <150000 cells/mcl).
Materials and methods A retrospective study included all patients treated with linezolid from January to June 2010 in a 300-bed hospital. The authors recorded the following data: demographic data (number of patients; sex), reason for linezolid treatment, number and type of cultures positive for Gram-positive microorganisms. The suitability of linezolid for use was evaluated according to the indications fpr linezolid in a technical tab. The incidence of thrombocytopaenia was determined in patients whose treatment had lasted longer than 2 weeks.
Results 66 patients were included (59.7% male). The average duration of the treatment was 10.7 days (8.8 to 12.6). 37 patients (56%) were treated with linezolid in line with the approved indications in the technical tab. In 7.6% of patients no blood culture was performed prior to initiation of the treatment. In order to monitor the safety of the treatment, the blood picture was tested on as many patients as possible. Four of these patients developed thrombocytopenia (30.8%).
Conclusions A high percentage of indications for which linezolid is prescribed in our hospital did not apply to those approved in the SmPC. Only in 8% of cases was a blood culture not performed prior to initiation of therapy, as recommended in the SmPC. Haematological toxicity in patients being treated with linezolid for more than 14 days was higher (30.8%) than indicated in the SmPC.
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