A Critical Review of Oxazolidinones: An Alternative or Replacement for Glycopeptides and Streptogramins?
Zhanel, George G
Gin, Alfred S
Hoban, Daryl J
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OBJECTIVE: To review the available data on the oxazolidinones linezolid and eperezolid.DATA SELECTION: Published reports were obtained by searching MEDLINE for articles published between 1992 and 2000, inclusive. References of published papers were also obtained and reviewed. Abstracts from scientific proceedings were reviewed.DATA EXTRACTION: Due to the limited data available regarding these agents, the criteria for study inclusion were not restrictive.DATA SYNTHESIS: The oxazolidinones (eg, linezolid) are a new antimicrobial class with a unique mechanism of action. They are active against resistant Gram-positive cocci including methicillin-susceptible and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), methicillin-susceptible and -resistant Staphylococccus epidermidis, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP). Linezolid is active against anaerobes and displays modest activity against fastidious Gram-negative pathogens such as Haemophilus influenzae, but is not active against Enterobacteriaceae. Linezolid is available both orally and parenterally, and has a bioavailability of 100%. Clinical trials comparing linezolid with standard therapy have demonstrated similar bacteriological and clinical cures rates to standard therapy in community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia, uncomplicated and complicated skin and soft tissue infections, and infections caused by MRSA and VRE. Adverse effects have been minor and infrequent; however, platelets should be monitored in patients who have received more than two weeks of linezolid therapy. It is expected that these agents will have a bright future due to their excellent spectrum of activity against antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive organisms, such as MRSA, VRE and PRSP, and their excellent bioavailability.CONCLUSION: The oxazolidinones represent a new class of antimicrobials with a unique mechanism of action. They have excellent activity against susceptible and resistant Gram-positive organisms such as MRSA, methicillin-susceptible S epidermidis, VRE and PRSP, and a good adverse effect profile; they can be administered both intravenously and orally. Their potential use in Canada may be as an intravenous and oral alternative to glycopeptides and streptogramins.