Efficacy and safety of clarithromycin compared to cefixime as outpatient treatment of lower respiratory tract infections.

Chest

PubMedID: 8222794

Neu HC, Chick TW. Efficacy and safety of clarithromycin compared to cefixime as outpatient treatment of lower respiratory tract infections. Chest. 1993;104(5):1393-9.
BACKGROUND
Clarithromycin is a new acid-stable, 14-membered macrolide active against many of the organisms responsible for lower respiratory tract infections. It has been administered to over 5,000 patients worldwide and has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis and bacterial pneumonia when given twice daily (250 to 500 mg). Cefixime is an amino-thiazolyl cephalosporin with an extended spectrum of antibacterial activity inhibiting beta-lactamase-producing respiratory pathogens. It has a long half-life, allowing once-daily administration.

METHODS
This randomized, double-blind multicenter study compared clarithromycin and cefixime as treatment for patients with community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections (n = 213). Patients had bacterial pneumonia (clarithromycin, 19 percent; cefixime, 21 percent) or acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis or asthmatic bronchitis (clarithromycin, 81 percent; cefixime, 79 percent). Patients received 500 mg of clarithromycin twice daily (n = 103) or 400 mg of cefixime once daily (n = 110) for 7 to 14 days.

RESULTS
Clinical cure or improvement occurred in 86 percent of the clarithromycin-treated patients and 88 percent of the cefixime-treated patients. When only patients with identified infections with Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, or Streptococcus pneumoniae were considered, clinical success rates were 97 percent for clarithromycin and 96 percent for cefixime; the rate of bacteriologic eradication was 91 percent for clarithromycin and 90 percent for cefixime. Adverse events occurred in 29 percent of the clarithromycin-treated patients and 23 percent of the cefixime-treated patients.

CONCLUSIONS
This study demonstrates that clarithromycin and cefixime are effective treatments for pneumonia and acute bacterial exacerbations of bronchitis of mild to moderate severity caused by the most common infecting organisms.