Effectiveness of early switch from intravenous to oral antibiotics in severe community acquired pneumonia: multicentre randomised trial

Oosterheert, J. J., Bonten, M. J. M., Schneider, M. M. E., Buskens, E., Lammers, J-W. J., Hustinx, W. M. N., Kramer, M. H. H., Prins, J. M., Slee, P. H. T. J., Kaasjager, K. & Hoepelman, A. I. M., 9-Dec-2006, In : British Medical Journal. 333, 7580, p. 1193-1195 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Jan Jelrik Oosterheert
  • Marc J. M. Bonten
  • Margriet M. E. Schneider
  • Erik Buskens
  • Jan-Willem J. Lammers
  • Willem M. N. Hustinx
  • Mark H. H. Kramer
  • Jan M. Prins
  • Peter H. Th. J. Slee
  • Karin Kaasjager
  • Andy I. M. Hoepelman

Objectives To compare the effectiveness of an early switch to oral antibiotics with the standard 7 day course of intravenous antibiotics in severe community acquired pneumonia.

Design Multicentre randomised controlled trial.

Setting Five teaching hospitals and 2 university medical centres in the Netherlands.

Participants 302 patients in non-intensive care wards with severe community acquired pneumonia. 265 patients fulfilled the stud), requirements.

Intervention Three days of treatment with intravenous antibiotics followed, when clinically stable, by oral antibiotics or by 7 days of intravenous antibiotics.

Main outcome measures Clinical cure and length of hospital stays

Results 302 patients were randomised. (mean age 69.5 (standard deviation 14.0), mean pneumonia severity score 112.7 (26.0)). 37 patients were excluded from analysis because of early dropout before day 3, leaving 265 patients for intention to treat analysis. Mortality at clay 28 was 4% in the intervention group and 6% in the control group (mean difference 2%,95% confidence interval - 3% to 8%). Clinical cure was 83% in the intervention group and 85% in the control group (2%, - 7% to 10%). Duration of intravenous treatment and length of hospital stay were reduced in the intervention group, with mean differences of 3.4 days (3.6 (1.5) v 7.0 (2.0) days; 2.8 to 3.9) and 1.9 days (9.6 (5.0) v 11.5 (4.9) days; 0.6 to 3.2), respectively

Conclusions Early switch from intravenous to oral antibiotics in patients with severe community acquired pneumonia is safe and decreases length of hospital stay by 2 days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1195
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Issue number7580
Publication statusPublished - 9-Dec-2006
Externally publishedYes



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