Is cefepime safe for clinical use? A Bayesian viewpoint.

Link to article at PubMed

Is cefepime safe for clinical use? A Bayesian viewpoint.

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Apr 6;

Authors: Kalil AC

Cefepime hydrochloride is approved for pneumonia, empirical therapy for febrile neutropenia, uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections, uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections and complicated intra-abdominal infections. A recent meta-analysis by Yahav et al. (Lancet Infect Dis 2007; 7: 338-48) concluded that cefepime was associated with a statistically significant increase in mortality (risk ratio 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.49) when compared with other antibiotics. The US FDA decided to re-evaluate the meta-analysis data in collaboration with the drug sponsor. Two years later the FDA Alert summarized that 'data do not indicate a higher rate of death in cefepime-treated patients. Cefepime remains an appropriate therapy for its approved indications.' However, a thorough evaluation of the 52-page FDA report still shows that safety remains an unresolved issue. A Bayesian re-appraisal of the findings by the FDA and by Yahav et al. indicates that there is a 90.9% (by FDA trial-level meta-analysis), 80.8% (by FDA patient-level meta-analysis) and 99.2% (by Yahav et al. meta-analysis) probability that cefepime raises mortality in neutropenic fever patients, which translates into the following numbers needed to harm (NNH), i.e. to cause one extra death with the use of cefepime: FDA trial-level meta-analysis, NNH?=?109; FDA patient-level meta-analysis, NNH?=?76; Yahav et al. meta-analysis, NNH?=?54. A similar harmful probability was observed with skin structure infections but not with pneumonias, intra-abdominal infections and urinary tract infections. In conclusion, cefepime should be avoided in patients with neutropenic fever or with skin structure infections.

PMID: 21471137 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *