?-Lactams plus doxycycline versus azithromycin for treatment of severe community-acquired pneumonia in critically ill patients

Link to article at PubMed

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2023 Oct 10:dkad301. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkad301. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a significant source of hospital admissions and mortality. Atypical organisms are implicated in up to 40% of cases of CAP diagnoses. We studied the difference in outcomes of severe CAP patients treated with doxycycline versus azithromycin in addition to β-lactam therapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a prospective observational cohort study from March 2020 to July 2022 in a medical ICU (MICU) of an academic quaternary medical center. Adults ≥18 years admitted to the MICU receiving doxycycline or azithromycin in addition to β-lactam therapy for the treatment of CAP were included for analysis. The primary outcomes were in-hospital and 30 day mortality. Secondary outcomes were ICU and hospital length-of-stay, 30 day readmission, days of mechanical ventilation, escalation and duration of antibiotics, adverse effects such as Clostridioides difficile infection and QTc prolongation.

RESULTS: Sixty-three patients were in the azithromycin group and eighty-six patients in the doxycycline group. Both groups had similar APACHE IV and CURB-65 scores. The mean Charlson Comorbidity Index score was higher for the doxycycline group compared with the azithromycin group (P = 0.04). There was no statistically significant difference in in-hospital and 30 day mortality between the groups (P = 0.53, P = 0.57). There were no significant differences in any of the secondary outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: MICU patients with severe CAP who received doxycycline versus azithromycin in addition to β-lactam treatment showed no significant differences in outcomes. These data offer support for inclusion of doxycycline as an alternative regimen in current IDSA recommendations.

PMID:37814829 | DOI:10.1093/jac/dkad301

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