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June 03, 2005

Zyvox Cures MRSA Better Than Vancomycin, Study Finds

A new study has confirmed that doctors have an additional last-resort weapon against MRSA-caused skin infections and pneumonia: Pfizer's Zyvox antibiotic, which was released in the US in 2000. A study of 1,180 patients with skin and soft-tissue infections (361 of which were confirmed MRSA)found that Zyvox (linezolid) cured 92%, vs. 88.5% cured by vancomycin (the standard last-resort MRSA treatment). In the confirmed-MRSA subgroup, Zyvox cured 88.6% vs. 66.9% cured by vancomycin.

In addition to the higher cure rate, the study by the Medical College of Wisconsin found that patients taking Zyvox through an IV got off the tube several days earlier (because Zyvox can also be taken orally), which lowered patients' risk of acquiring a new infection via the IV incision.
According to a previous study, the rate of MRSA among [patients with skin and soft-tissue infections] is approximately 30%. Thirty years ago, only 2% of hospital-acquired Staph infections in intensive care units were resistant to antibiotics, but today physicians are seeing rates of approximately 60%.


At 6/03/2005 10:43 AM, Blogger Jennings said...

Jut remember that this study can't be extrapolated to pneumonia caused by MRSA. Just look at how well nafacillin kills cellulitis bugs, but is less than ideal of lung infection.

There is one drug company-sponsored study in a low-impact journal that suggested linezolid was better than vanco for MRSA, but the study design was deeply flawed and half of the data (patients) in that study came from a previous study and they used the SAME data for this study! That is, to say the least, a statistical no-no and essentially invalidates any meaningful conclusions.

Also, that study found no OVERALL effect but a positive linezolid effect in the MRSA subgroup. This implies that linezolid must be HARMFUL to a subset of pneumonia ptients who do not have MRSA.
That data thus suggests that if you ar not sure the patient has MRSA, you better use vanco to avoid harming that as-yet to be identified subgroup.


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