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The Clinical Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Vancomycin for the Treatment of Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Infection - A Systematic Review.

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this systematic review of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) was to examine the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of vancomycin for treatment of recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI).

METHODS: The PubMed database was searched from inception to August 23, 2022. An initial screening was performed followed by a full-text evaluation of the papers. Inclusion criteria were RCTs investigating vancomycin for treatment of rCDI.

RESULTS: A total of six studies and 269 patients were included in the review. Three studies used a fixed dose regimen of vancomycin, one study used pulse regimen, one study used a taper-and-pulse regimen, and one study used a taper-and-pulse regimen for the participants with two or more recurrences. The resolution of infection varied from 19% to 58.3% in five of six studies reporting this as an outcome. Four out of six studies reported new episodes of rCDI as an intervention outcome, in those studies 50-63% of participants experienced rCDI. Regarding the safety and tolerability of vancomycin treatment for rCDI, one study described several adverse events regarding gastrointestinal discomfort along with fatigue and skin rash. There were no records of serious adverse events in the included studies.

CONCLUSION: While oral vancomycin is mostly safe and well tolerated in the RCTs reviewed here, the efficacy for treating rCDI varies greatly from 19-58.3%, and 50-63% of participants experienced new episodes of rCDI.

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