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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


XABA, S N; GREEFF, O  and  BECKER, P. Determinants, outcomes and costs of ceftriaxone v. amoxicillin-clavulanate in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia at Witbank Hospital. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.3, pp.183-186. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a major cause of death and morbidity worldwide. Treatment is centred on antibiotics with ceftriaxone and amoxicillin-clavulanate being some of the most commonly prescribed agents. OBJECTIVE: To compare treatment outcomes and costs in patients receiving either of these two antibiotics at Witbank Hospital (WH). METHODS: A total of 200 randomly selected adult patient files (100 receiving ceftriaxone and 100 amoxicillin-clavulanate) recording a diagnosis of CAP were studied to determine the length of hospital stay, comorbid conditions and treatment outcomes. A descriptive and comparable analysis was performed. RESULTS: Male gender, higher CURB-65 scores and death were associated with the use of ceftriaxone. Severity of disease and previous antibiotic exposure influenced the duration of hospital admission. CONCLUSION: Gender and severity of disease (based on the CURB-65 score) were the determinants of antibiotic choice at WH. Male gender increased the likelihood of being treated with ceftriaxone, as did a CURB-65 score of >2. There were no differences in the outcomes of CAP patients treated with ceftriaxone compared with those treated with amoxicillin-clavulanate. Irrespective of antibiotic used, gender and severity of disease influenced treatment outcomes. Male gender was associated with a higher mortality and longer hospital stay. The average duration of stay for both antibiotics was not significantly different. Thus, only level 1 and 2 costs need to be considered when comparing the two regimens. On this basis, ceftriaxone was cheaper than amoxicillin-clavulanate.

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