Most guidelines for the management of hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) recommend commencing therapy with intravenous antibiotics, primarily because of concern about absorption of oral antibiotics in acutely ill patients. However, patients who respond are rapidly switched to oral therapy, which has been shown to reduce costs and to shorten the length of stay. The aim of the present study was to determine whether a full course of oral antibiotics is as efficacious and as safe as intravenous-to-oral sequential antibiotic therapy for the treatment of hospitalized, non-ICU patients with CAP. In an open-labelled, controlled study, 129 hospitalized patients with CAP were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either a full course of oral levofloxacin (500 mg q12 h) or an intravenous-to-oral sequential therapy consisting of intravenous ceftriaxone (2 g q24 h) with or without clarithromycin (500 mg q12 h) followed by an oral antibiotic (a beta-lactam agent in the majority of patients). The primary study endpoint was the resolution of CAP; secondary endpoints included length of stay and overall mortality. CAP resolved in 72 of 79 (91.1%) patients in the levofloxacin group and in 34 of 37 (91.9%) patients in the intravenous-to-oral sequential therapy group (difference, -0.8%, 95%CI, -11.6-10.0). Median length of stay was 8 days (range, 2-74 days) in the levofloxacin group and 10 days (range, 3-29 days) in the intravenous-to-oral sequential therapy group ( P=0.28). Day 30 mortality rates were 1.3% (1 of 79) and 8.1% (3 of 37), respectively (difference, -6.8%, 95%CI, -16.0-2.3). Full-course oral levofloxacin is as efficacious and as safe as standard intravenous-to-oral sequential antibiotic therapy for the treatment of hospitalized patients with CAP.