Community-acquired pneumonia and the role of levofloxacin in its management

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IN BRIEFCommunity-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, and the costs of treatment are high. The unnecessary admission to hospital of patients who could be managed in the community raises these costs significantly. Because outcome is improved by early antibacterial treatment, the initial choice of antibiotic is generally made before diagnostic test results are available. Empirical treatment with appropriate agents improves the likelihood of clinical recovery and reduces the costs of disease management.Levofloxacin is a second-generation fluoroquinolone with a broad spectrum of activity against the pathogens most commonly associated with CAP, including pneumococcal strains resistant to penicillins and macrolides. Levels of resistance to this class of antibacterial are low, and levofloxacin is generally well tolerated. Use of this agent is appropriate for the management of CAP, particularly in geographical areas with a high prevalence of penicillin-resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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