Prospective randomized comparison of cefepime and cefotaxime for treatment of bacterial meningitis in infants and children

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1995 Apr;39(4):937-40. doi: 10.1128/AAC.39.4.937.


Ninety infants and children were prospectively randomized to receive cefepime (n = 43) or cefotaxime (n = 47) for therapy of bacterial meningitis. The two treatment groups were comparable in terms of age, duration of illness before enrollment, history of seizures, clinical status on admission, and etiology. Six (7%) patients died--two treated with cefepime and four treated with cefotaxime. Clinical response, cerebrospinal fluid sterilization, development of complications, antibiotic toxicity, and hospital stay were similar for the two treatment regimens. Concentrations of cefepime in cerebrospinal fluid varied from 55 to 95 times greater than the maximal MIC required by the causative pathogens. Audiologic and/or neurologic sequelae were found in 16% of the cefepime-treated patients and 15% of the cefotaxime-treated patients examined 2 to 6 months after discharge. We conclude that cefepime is safe and therapeutically equivalent to cefotaxime for management of bacterial meningitis in infants and children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cefepime
  • Cefotaxime / therapeutic use*
  • Cephalosporins / adverse effects
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacokinetics
  • Cephalosporins / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Cephalosporins
  • Cefepime
  • Cefotaxime