We conducted a randomized, prospective, open comparison to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cefepime and ceftazidime in the treatment of hospitalized patients with suspected gram-negative bacteremia. Twenty-eight patients with signs and symptoms of sepsis were prospectively randomized to receive cefepime (13 patients) or ceftazidime (15 patients). Cultures of blood obtained at entry into the study were positive for 24 (85.7%) of 28 patients. Eight patients had two or more positive pretreatment blood cultures, and the remaining 16 had one positive pretreatment blood culture. The most commonly isolated blood pathogen was Escherichia coli. Eleven of 13 patients treated with cefepime and 12 of 15 patients treated with ceftazidime were clinically cured. Adverse effects attributable to therapy with the study drugs were minimal in both groups of patients and included rash, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Our results suggest that cefepime is an efficacious and well tolerated as is ceftazidime in the treatment of hospitalized patients with documented gram-negative bacteremia.