Dosage amounts create similar improvement in C. diff cases

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High and low dosages of a popular antibiotic offer little difference in the outcomes of Clostridium difficile infections, according to a new study.

People treated with either low or high dosages of vancomycin saw similar improvement, regardless of their dosage amount. Those treated with a low dose of the antibiotic, or 125 mg every six hours, had a 93% clinical improvement rate at the end of therapy or their time of hospital discharge. Those treated with a high dose, or more than 125 mg every six hours, had a 95% rate of improvement.

Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University studied the outcomes of 300 patients with C. diff to determine dosage amounts' effects on clinical recovery.

Low-dose patients had an in-hospital mortality rate of 15%, whereas high-dose patients had a rate of 23%. Other findings:

  • Low-dose patients had a 4% rate of re-treatment

  • Low-dose patients had a 34% rate of 30-day readmission.

  • High-dose patients had a 6% rate of re-treatment

  • High-dose patients had a 24% rate of 30-day readmission.

"This study's comparable results in low-dose and high-dose antibiotic treatment of CDI reinforce the importance of considering new approaches to using these medications," said Philip Chung, Pharm D, M.S., clinical pharmacy manager in Infectious Diseases, Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Einstein.

This study, which was presented at the 53rd Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, coincides with another study that shows the rate of C. diff has doubled in the last decade.