Randomized comparative study of cefepime and cefotaxime in the treatment of acute obstetric and gynaecological infections

E. R. Newton, E. R. Yeomans, J. G. Pastorek, D. E. Soper, D. L. Hemsell

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4 Scopus citations


Patients with presumed acute gynaecological infections were randomized (2:1) to receive cefepime 2 g every 12 h (n = 159) or cefotaxime 2 g every 8 h (n = 72), both im or by a 30-min iv infusion. For evaluation of efficacy, patients were required to have a bacteriologically documented infection, with at least one pathogen isolated susceptible to both drugs. Duration of treatment was 2–8 days in the 95 cefepime-treated patients and 3–10 days in the 36 cefotaxime-treated patients with evaluable infections; approximately three-quarters of the patients in each group were treated for 4–5 days. Clinical response was satisfactory in 81/95 (85%) of the evaluable cefepime recipients and 30/36 (83%) of the evaluable cefotaxime recipients (P = 0-802). In total, 211 (85%) of the 247 pathogens isolated from evaluable cefepime recipients were eradicated, compared with 98 (90%) of 109 pathogens isolated from evaluable cefotaxime recipients. All pathogens were eradicated in 77 (81%) cefe-pime-treated patients and in 31 (86%) cefotaxime-treated patients (P = 0.379). Overall response to treatment, calculated by combining clinical response and individual patient bacteriological response, was considered effective, partially effective or ineffective in 77%, 13% and 11% of cefepime-treated patients respectively and in 75%, 19% and 6% of cefotaxime-treated patients respectively (P = 0.932 for effective response). Adverse clinical events were reported by 68 (43%) of 159 cefepime recipients and by 26 (36%) of 72 cefotaxime recipients (P = 0.342); adverse events were deemed drug-related in 6% of cefepime recipients (diarrhoea, rash and headache) and in 1% of cefotaxime recipients (diarrhoea, pruritus and rash). Treatment was discontinued prematurely due to adverse events in five cefepime-treated patients and in one cefotaxime-treated patient (P = 0.476). Local intolerance was reported by 33 (21%) of the 159 cefepime-treated patients and by 14 (19%) of the 72 cefotaxime-treated patients receiving drug via the iv route alone; none of the patients discontinued treatment because of local intolerance. Laboratory test abnormalities were observed in a small number of patients in each group (1–8%), but none warranted discontinuation of treatment. Cefepime 2 g bd appears to have efficacy and safety comparable to that of cefotaxime 2 g tid in the treatment of acute obstetric and gynaecological infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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