Cefdinir versus levofloxacin in patients with acute rhinosinusitis of presumed bacterial etiology: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind study

Clin Ther. 2004 Dec;26(12):2026-33. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2004.12.004.


Background: Treatment guidelines for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS) recommend 10 to 14 days of therapy with high-dose amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cefdinir, cefpodoxime, cefuroxime, a macrolide, or a newer fluoroquinolone, among other agents.

Objective: This study compared the clinical efficacy and tolerability of cefdinir and levofloxacin in patients with a diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis of presumed bacterial origin.

Methods: In this multicenter, double-blind, noninferiority study, ambulatory adult patients who had signs and symptoms for >7 to 21 days before the screening visit and radiographic findings consistent with acute rhinosinusitis were randomized to receive cefdinir 600 mg or levofloxacin 500 mg, each once daily for 10 days. Clinical and radiologic response rates were determined at the test-of-cure (TOC) visit, which took place 9 to 14 days after the completion of treatment.

Results: Two hundred seventy-one patients (138 cefdinir, 133 levofloxacin) were enrolled and randomized to treatment at 27 study centers in the United States and Poland between November 2003 and March 2004. Of these, 241 (123 cefdinir, 118 levofloxacin) were clinically evaluable. The cefdinir group consisted of 75 women and 48 men, of whom 117 were white and 6 black; their mean (SD) age was 42.5 (14.3) years. The levofloxacin group consisted of 71 women and 47 men, of whom 111 were white and 7 black; their mean age was 40.4 (13.6) years. The 2 groups were similar in terms of presenting signs and symptoms and baseline radiographic findings. The most common presenting symptoms were sinus pain, sinus pressure, and purulent nasal discharge, each of which was reported by > or =89% of patients. Clinical cure rates at the TOC visit in the cefdinir and levofloxacin groups were 83% (102/123) and 86% (101/118), respectively (95% Cl for the difference in cure rates, -12.3 to 7.0). Cefdinir and levofloxacin were comparable in the treatment of infections classified as moderate to severe. The incidence of drug-related adverse events was generally comparable in the 2 treatment groups, although there were significant differences between cefdinir and levofloxacin in the incidence of vaginal moniliasis in women (11% vs 0%, respectively; P = 0.003), drug-related diarrhea (8% vs 1%; P = 0.005), and insomnia (0% vs 4%; P = 0.027). Only 2% of patients discontinued therapy prematurely as a result of a drug-related adverse event.

Conclusion: In this population of patients with ABRS, the extended-spectrum cephalosporin cefdinir was as efficacious as the fluoroquinolone levofloxacin, suggesting that cefdinir may be a suitable alternative to the currently recommended fluoroquinolones.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cefdinir
  • Cephalosporins / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levofloxacin*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ofloxacin / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sinusitis / classification
  • Sinusitis / drug therapy*
  • Sinusitis / microbiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Levofloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Cefdinir