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Drugs

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 789–804 | Cite as

Antibiotic Treatment of Febrile Episodes in Neutropenic Cancer Patients

Clinical and Economic Considerations
Disease Management

Summary

The increased frequency of infections caused by Gram-positive microorganisms, and the expansion of resistant pathogens resulting from institutional therapeutic practices, represent some of the emerging issues of empirical drug treatment of cancer patients with febrile neutropenia. However, the therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these patients have progressed remarkably over the last decade. Individual therapy in the light of the principal clinical features (in particular, the degree and estimated duration of neutropenia, as well the presence of other potential factors favouring infection such as long-standing intravascular catheters) and local microbial ecology have emerged as the leading concepts.

Empirical drug monotherapy has been recognised as a feasible alternative to combination therapy, at least in selected low-risk patients. The indiscriminate use of empirical glycopeptides should be discouraged to prevent the emergence of resistant bacteria, especially in centres where methicillin-resistant staphylococci have not yet become a major issue. Empirical antifungal therapy with amphotericin B is still essential for a successful outcome in case of fever persistence or recurrence. Finally, selected febrile neutropenic patients who exhibit a better prognosis can be handled on an outpatient basis.

The prophylactic use of haemopoietic growth factors has been shown to augment cost savings substantially in the management of neutropenic patients via a reduction in the duration and severity of the neutropenia, as well as infectious complications. Although data from economic analyses are not yet available, some cost-containment strategies such as outpatient treatment, monotherapy, and use of more convenient antibiotic combinations may lead to a reduction of therapy expenditures for febrile episodes in these patients.

Keywords

Neutropenia Ceftazidime Amikacin Antimicrob Agent Neutropenic Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infectious DiseasesSan Bortolo HospitalVicenzaItaly

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