Safety and clinical efficacy of linezolid in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

World J Pediatr. 2023 Feb;19(2):129-138. doi: 10.1007/s12519-022-00650-1. Epub 2022 Dec 23.


Background: We aimed to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of linezolid in children for treating suspected and diagnosed Gram-positive bacterial infections.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted up to April 23, 2021, using linezolid and its synonyms as search terms. Two reviewers independently identified and extracted relevant randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. The extracted studies were included in a single-rate meta-analysis of adverse events and clinical outcomes using random-effects models.

Results: A total of 1082 articles were identified, and nine studies involving 758 children were included in the meta-analysis. The overall proportion of adverse events was 8.91% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.64%-36.52%], with diarrhea (2.24%), vomiting (2.05%), and rash (1.72%) being the most common. The incidences of thrombocytopenia and anemia were 0.68% and 0.16%, respectively. Some specific adverse events, including rash and gastrointestinal events, were more frequent in the oral administration subgroup. In terms of efficacy, the overall proportion of clinical improvement was 88.80% (95% CI = 81.31%-93.52%). Children with a history of specific bacteriological diagnosis or concomitant antibiotic therapy had a 1.13-fold higher clinical improvement than children without such histories. The proportion of microbial eradication was 92.68% (95% CI = 84.66%-96.68%). The proportion of all-cause mortality was 0.16% (95% CI = 0.00%-7.75%).

Conclusions: Linezolid was well-tolerated in pediatric patients and was associated with a low frequency of adverse events, such as anemia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia. Moreover, linezolid was effective in children with diagnosed and suspected Gram-positive infections.

Keywords: Children; Efficacy; Linezolid; Meta-analysis; Safety.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Diarrhea*
  • Humans
  • Linezolid / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Linezolid
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents