Comparison of the efficacy, safety and cost of cefixime, ceftriaxone and aztreonam in the treatment of multidrug-resistant Salmonella typhi septicemia in children

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An increase in the incidence of Salmonella typhi strains resistant to chloramphenicol, ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole causing enteric fever in Egyptian children stimulated the evaluation of alternative drugs. Children with positive blood cultures were treated with cefixime, ceftriaxone or aztreonam, and the efficacy, safety and cost of these regimens were evaluated and compared. Cefixime (7.5 mg/kg) was given orally twice daily to 50 children for 14 days, ceftriaxone (50 to 70 mg/kg) was given im once daily for 5 days to 43 children and aztreonam (50 to 70 mg/kg) was given im every 8 hours for 7 days to 31 children. Children in the 3 groups were comparable with regard to age, sex, duration and severity of illness before admission. All children were cured. A significant difference (P < 0.05) in duration of treatment before becoming afebrile seemed to favor ceftriaxone (3.9 days) over aztreonam (5.5 days) and cefixime (5.3 days). During the 4-week follow-up period relapses occurred in 3 (6%) children in the cefixime group, in 2 (5%) in the ceftriaxone group and in 2 (6%) in the aztreonam group. Safety and efficacy were comparable for all 3 drugs. Ceftriaxone was most cost-effective on an inpatient basis, because of a more rapid clinical cure, and cefixime was the most cost-effective on an outpatient basis, because of drug cost.

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