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Clinical outcomes of failing to dose-reduce cephalosporin antibiotics in older adults with CKD

Bathini L, Jandoc R, Kuwornu P, McArthur E, Weir MA, Sood MM, Battistella M, Muanda FT, Liu A, Jain AK, Garg AX. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019; Jan 10 [Epub ahead of print].


Background and Objectives — Current dosing recommendations for cephalosporin antibiotics are on the basis of pharmacokinetic studies and are frequently ignored in practice. This study was undertaken to investigate the clinical outcomes of failing to dose-reduce cephalosporin antibiotics in CKD.

Design, Setting, Participants, and Measurements — Retrospective cohort study conducted in Ontario, Canada using linked population-based health care databases. Nine thousand three hundred forty-seven outpatients (median age 83; interquartile range, 77–88 years; 57% women) with an eGFR<30 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and no prior history of dialysis were dispensed oral cephalexin, cefuroxime, or cefprozil between April of 2007 and March of 2016. Two thirds of the patients (6253 of 9347) received a higher than recommended daily dose of cephalexin (>1000 mg), cefuroxime (>500 mg), or cefprozil (>500 mg). The primary outcome was a hospital encounter (emergency room visit or hospital admission) with a condition listed as a possible side-effect of cephalosporins. Secondary outcomes were antibiotic treatment failure and all-cause mortality. All measures were assessed in the 30 days after cephalosporin initiation.

Results — Patients who received a higher than recommended dose of a cephalosporin antibiotic were similar in multiple indicators of baseline health to patients who received a reduced dose. Overall, 6% of patients presented to hospital with a possible cephalosporin side-effect, 13% failed antibiotic treatment, and 3% died. Compared with a reduced dose, receiving a higher dose of antibiotic was not associated with a different rate of side-effects (adjusted odds ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.20), treatment failure (1.01; 0.88 to 1.15), or death (0.99; 0.76 to 1.29).

Conclusions — In this study we failed to demonstrate any association between the dose of cephalosporin antibiotic administered to elderly patients with CKD and the risk of side-effects leading to hospitalization, treatment failure, or mortality.

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