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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

A review of linezolid: the first oxazolidinone antibiotic

Dennis L Stevens, Brian Dotter, Karl Madaras-Kelly
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 2004, 2 (1): 51-9
15482171
Resistance of Gram-positive bacterial pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium, to existing antibiotics continues to increase, and new antibiotics with activity against these pathogens are in demand. Linezolid (Zyvox, Pharmacia and Upjohn) is the first agent of a new class of antibiotics called the oxazolidinones. Linezolid possesses excellent microbial activity against a wide variety of Gram-positive pathogens including those resistant to methicillin and vancomycin (Vancocin, Eli Lilly). Linezolid is available for intravenous and oral administration and possesses excellent bioavailability. It exhibits good penetration into pulmonary, as well as skin and related structure tissues, and does not require dosage adjustment in hepatic or renal dysfunction. Linezolid is generally well-tolerated, with the predominant adverse effect manifesting as a duration dependent, reversible thrombocytopenia. Linezolid possesses monoamine oxidase inhibitor activity and caution is warranted with coadministration of adrenergic or seritonergic medications. Clinical trials conducted with linezolid in skin and structure infections, lower respiratory tract infections and vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infections demonstrate that linezolid is an effective therapy. Recent data suggest that linezolid may be superior to vancomycin for the treatment of infections caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Linezolid is an excellent and promising new antibiotic for the treatment of resistant Gram-positive pathogens.

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