Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) for the treatment of osteomyelitis: evaluation of efficacy, tolerance and cost

L Bernard, El-Hajj, B Pron, A Lotthé, V Gleizes, F Signoret, P Denormandie, J L Gaillard, C Perronne
Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 2001, 26 (6): 445-51

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the feasibility, efficacy, and cost of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) in the treatment of osteomyelitis.

SUBJECTS: 39 patients with an osteomyelitis requiring parenterally administered antibiotics for more than 4 weeks, and able to receive antibiotics at home.

METHODS: All patients had a totally implanted catheter. Antibiotics were administered by continuous infusion using a portable elastomeric infusion system, which was changed every day by the patient or by the home-care nurse. Laboratory monitoring and surveillance were performed weekly. Clinical efficacy, adverse effects and quality of life were recorded.

RESULTS: The most commonly used antibiotics were vancomycin (51%) and beta-lactam (44%) antibiotics. Thirty patients were available for follow-up for a minimum of 12 months after completion of therapy. Twenty-eight (93%) were considered cured of their infection with a mean of 24 +/- 4 months after completion of antibiotic therapy. Adverse effects among the study patients were rare. The 39 patients in our OPAT programme resulted in a potential saving of US $1 873 885 relative to conventional therapy.

CONCLUSION: OPAT is practicable and effective and may be the best alternative treatment for patients suffering from osteomyelitis requiring intravenous therapy.

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