Background: Uncomplicated skin and skin-structure infections are commonly observed in medical practice. Because these infections typically are confined to the superficial layers and seldom lead to the destruction of skin structures and resultant systemic dissemination, in general they can be treated with an oral antibiotic with potent microbiologic activity against gram-positive pathogens.
Objective: This paper compares the efficacy and tolerability of 3 beta-lactam antibiotics in patients with uncomplicated skin and skin-structure infections.
Methods: Two double-blind, multicenter, parallel-group studies were conducted, in which patients aged > or = 12 years with uncomplicated skin and skin-structure infections were randomized to receive cefditoren 200 or 400 mg, cefuroxime 250 mg, or cefadroxil 500 mg, each BID for 10 days. Study 1 compared cefditoren with cefuroxime; Study 2 compared cefditoren with cefadroxil. Clinical and microbiologic responses were assessed at a posttreatment visit (within 48 hours of treatment completion) and test-of-cure visit (7-14 days after treatment completion). Patients were monitored closely throughout the study with the use of physical examinations, clinical laboratory tests, and assessment of adverse events.
Results: A total of 1,685 patients (855 males, 830 females; mean age, 41.1 years [range, 12-95 years]) were enrolled. Within both studies, the 3 treatment groups were similar at baseline based on demographic characteristics and types of infection. Cellulitis (26%), wound infection (25%), and simple abscess (15%) were the most common infections. Clinical cure rates at the test-of-cure visit were 85% (443/523) for cefditoren 200 mg, 83% (427/516) for cefditoren 400 mg, 88% (234/265) for cefuroxime, and 85% (211/248) for cefadroxil. At the test-of-cure visit, cefditoren 200 mg had eradicated significantly fewer of the causative pathogens isolated before treatment in microbiologically evaluable patients than did cefuroxime in Study 1 (P = 0.043) but significantly more of the pathogens than did cefadroxil in Study 2 (P = 0.018). Eradication rates for the most commonly isolated pathogens were generally similar in the 3 treatment groups in both studies, with the only significant difference favoring cefditoren 200 and 400 mg over cefadroxil for Peptostreptococcus species in Study 2 (P = 0.016 and P = 0.003, respectively). A minority of patients (< or = 5% in any treatment group) discontinued study-drug treatment prematurely due to a treatment-related adverse event, with statistically higher rates for cefditoren 400 mg than for cefditoren 200 mg and the comparator cephalosporins (each P < 0.05). All 3 cephalosporins were generally well tolerated. Most adverse events (>93%) were categorized as mild to moderate, with the most common being diarrhea, nausea, and headache.
Conclusion: In this population of patients with uncomplicated skin and skin-structure infections, including those due to Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes, the clinical cure rate and tolerability of cefditoren were comparable to those of cefuroxime and cefadroxil.