New Rx Fares Well for Skin Infections

Tedizolid phosphate for bacterial skin infections performed as well as linezolid

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) A variety of skin infections caused by bacteria are becoming harder to treat. The difficulty occurs when the infection can resist the antibiotic that is supposed to treat it.

Other prescriptions may have serious side effects. Therefore, a recent study tested a new medication for serious bacterial skin infections.

The medication is aimed at treating cellulitis, skin abscesses, infections from a wound and other serious skin illnesses.

Compared with another known effective medication, this Rx - called tedizolid phosphate - appeared as effective as the other medication.

"Talk to your doctor about serious skin infections."

The phase 3 study, led by Philippe Prokocimer, MD, of Trius Therapeutics Inc. in San Diego, tested the safety and effectiveness of tedizolid phosphate for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections.

Tedizolid phosphate is designed to treat skin infections such as cellulitis, erysipelas, major skin abscesses and wound infections.

A total of 667 adults were involved in the study: 332 participants took 200 mg of tedizolid phosphate daily for six days. Then, 335 participants took 600 mg of linezolid (Zyvox) twice a day for 10 days. Linezolid is a medication already used to treat bacterial skin infections.

The researchers were looking to see if the patients' infections stopped becoming worse within two to three days and if the skin surface temperature was no higher than 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Among the patients taking tedizolid phosphate, 79.5 percent had the desired response: no increase in the infection area and a temperature at or below 99.6.

Meanwhile, 79.4 percent of those taking linezolid had the response the researchers were looking for.

By the end of the 11th day of the trial, 69.3 percent of those taking tedizolid and 71.9 percent of those taking linezolid had maintained the response of stopping the infection.

One to two weeks after the patients underwent this medical therapy, they were assessed to see how well the treatment had worked longer-term.

Among those taking tedizolid phosphate, 85.5 percent were judged to be successfully treated, and 86 percent of those taking linezolid were judged to be successfully treated.

Side effects occurred in 40.8 percent of those taking tedizolid phosphate and 43.3 percent of those taking linezolid.

Most of these side effects were considered mild or moderate, the researchers reported. A total of 16.3 percent of those taking tedizolid phosphate and 25.4 percent of those taking linezolid experienced gastrointestinal issues from the drugs.

Nervous system disorders occurred in 10.9 percent of those taking tedizolid and 9.6 percent of those taking linezolid.

Other side effects reported included nausea, headache and diarrhea. The researchers noted that the rate of side effects was mostly similar between the two medications.

The researchers therefore concluded that tedizolid phosphate appeared to treat these bacterial skin infections as well as linezolid did. However, both drugs failed to successfully treat 15 percent of the patients.

Tedizolid phosphate has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is not yet available for consumers. Prices for the medication were unavailable.

The study was published February 13 in JAMA. The research was funded by Trius Therapeutics, which manufactures tedizolid phosphate.

Three of the study authors were employees of Trius Therapeutics at the time of the study and hold stock in the company. Another doctor has received funding from eight other pharmaceutical companies.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 11, 2013
Last Updated:
February 14, 2013